Doctoral thesis

Investigating the impact of semantic long-term memory on attention-based processes during working memory maintenance


  • Fribourg, Switzerland, 2022

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Thèse: Université de Fribourg (Suisse), 2022

English Working memory is the system dedicated to the maintenance and processing of information at short time scale. Although this system has attracted a lot of research during the last 50 years, its inner functioning is still a matter of debate. One of the most acknowledged aspect of working memory is that attentional processes play an important role in its functioning, especially during maintenance. Indeed, two attention-based processes have been described during working memory maintenance: attentional refreshing and consolidation in working memory. Attentional refreshing is a domain-general maintenance process that helps maintaining information in working memory against temporal decay and interference. It works by focusing central attention on representation held in working memory, which counteract their forgetting. Consolidation in working memory is also an attention-based process, but it is used to transform fleeting iconic memory traces into more stable working memory traces. In this thesis, we investigated whether attentional refreshing and consolidation are influenced by semantic long-term memory factors. In four series of experiments, we gathered evidence against the hypothesis that attentional refreshing functioning relies on semantic long-term memory. In contrast, we gathered evidence that information that already have a better encoding in long-term memory is consolidated more quickly. Implication of these finding in regard of how we conceive these two processes are discussed.
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
  • English
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