The focus of attention is similar to other memory systems rather than uniquely different

Beaudry, Olivia and Neath, Ian and Surprenant, Aimee M. and Tehan, Gerald (2014) The focus of attention is similar to other memory systems rather than uniquely different. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8. pp. 1-7.

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When short-term memory was created in late 1950s/early 1960s, it ushered in a view in which memory is divided into multiple memory systems, each of which has different properties, each of which operates according to different rules and principles, and each of which is responsible for storing different types of information and supporting memory in different types of situations. This quickly became the dominant view of the field. An opposing view emphasizes processing rather systems, and suggests that memory performance is dependent on the relation between the processing done at encoding and the processing done at retrieval rather than on which store holds the information. The debate over systems versus processes was perhaps most prominent at the turn of the century (see, for example, the volume edited by Foster & Jelicic, 1999) but it is fair to say that the debate is still ongoing (see Surprenant & Neath, 2009).
One commonality among these two approaches is that they emphasize differences (either in store or in processing): Differences in memory performance are taken as indicating a different underlying memory system or different process. Memory, whether seen as a system or process, is chopped up, divided, subdivided, and partitioned into ever decreasing portions.
An alternate view emphasizes similarities rather than differences by advocating the search for general principles of memory (Surprenant & Neath, 2009). In contrast to both the systems and processes view, this functional approach focuses on larger and larger portions of the memory puzzle. It is this view that provided the impetus for the current paper, and while our question is narrow, its implications are broad and the answer relevant to theorists of any persuasion: Is the focus of attention, unlike all other proposed memory systems, immune to proactive interference?

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2014 Beaudry, Neath, Surprenant and Tehan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology, Counselling and Community
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2014 02:27
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2016 00:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: focus of attention; proactive interference; immediate memory; short-term memory
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170201 Computer Perception, Memory and Attention
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170205 Neurocognitive Patterns and Neural Networks
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00056

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