Specialized Verbal Working Memory for Language Comprehension

David Caplan, Gloria Waters and Gayle Dede

in Variation in Working Memory

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780195168648
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847297 | DOI:
Specialized Verbal Working Memory for Language Comprehension

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This chapter focuses on the working memory requirement of syntactic processing. It illustrates the working memory (WM) requirements associated with syntactic processing and then documents the existence of variability in the subject's efficiency in handling the demands. The relationship is explored as well as the individual differences in WM capacity. There is a focus on research into the WM demands of syntactic processing that has capitalized on the differences in the WM demands associated with processing sentences. Another approach to the study of the functional neuroanatomy of syntactic processing in sentence comprehension has been to compare PET activity associated with processing syntactically more complex objected-extracted sentences to that associated with simpler subject-extracted sentences. Experimental controls and counterbalances were used to ensure that the two conditions differed only along the syntactic dimension.

Keywords: working memory; syntactic processing; individual differences; neuroanatomy; sentence comprehension; PET activity

Chapter.  16653 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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