Chapter

Explaining the Many Varieties of Working Memory Variation: Dual Mechanisms of Cognitive Control

Todd S. Braver, Jeremy R. Gray and Gregory C. Burgess

in Variation in Working Memory

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780195168648
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847297 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168648.003.0004
Explaining the Many Varieties of Working Memory Variation: Dual Mechanisms of Cognitive Control

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This chapter shows how all working memory (WM) theorists agree that control processes are a critical component of WM function. The general theoretical framework is the dual mechanisms of control (DMC): proactive control and reactive control. They can be differentiated on the basis of their information-processing characteristics, computational properties, temporal dynamics, and underlying neural systems. Regardless of the source of WM variation, the proximal mechanisms of variation remain the same and have the same impact on brain activity and behavior. Thus, the DMC framework provides a unifying account that has the potential to synthesize and integrate a large body of literatures on WM function. By recognizing that there are multiple alternative routes to cognitive control, investigators may be in a better position to explore and investigate the complexity of empirical findings.

Keywords: memory theorists; proactive control; reactive control; temporal dynamics; proximal mechanisms; brain activity; DMC framework

Chapter.  17493 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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