Load and distinctness interact in working memory for lexical manual gestures
2015 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, 1147Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The Ease of Language Understanding model (Ronnberg et al., 2013) predicts that decreasing the distinctness of language stimuli increases working memory load; in the speech domain this notion is supported by empirical evidence. Our aim was to determine whether such an over-additive interaction can be generalized to sign processing in sign-naive individuals and whether it is modulated by experience of computer gaming. Twenty young adults with no knowledge of sign language performed an n-back working memory task based on manual gestures lexicalized in sign language; the visual resolution of the signs and working memory load were manipulated. Performance was poorer when load was high and resolution was low. These two effects interacted over-additively, demonstrating that reducing the resolution of signed stimuli increases working memory load when there is no pre-existing semantic representation. This suggests that load and distinctness are handled by a shared amodal mechanism which can be revealed empirically when stimuli are degraded and load is high, even without pre-existing semantic representation. There was some evidence that the mechanism is influenced by computer gaming experience. Future work should explore how the shared mechanism is influenced by pre-existing semantic representation and sensory factors together with computer gaming experience.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers , 2015. Vol. 6, 1147
working memory; manual gestures; load; distinctness; resolution; computer games
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121314DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01147ISI: 000359988000001PubMedID: 26321979OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-121314DiVA: diva2:854134
Funding Agencies|Linnaeus Centre HEAD grant from the Swedish Research Council2015-09-162015-09-142016-05-04