Schema-Driven, Space-Supported Random Accessible Memory Systems for Manipulation of Symbolic Working Memory

Abstract

We present an execution model for manipulation of working memory content during intellectual symbolic working memory tasks, which allows random access of WM content through a schema-operated sensory-motor spatial working memory. The core concept of this framework is binding symbolic items to spatial locations which are accessible via selective mechanisms of attention in space. An operational schema implements basic WM management operations such as insertion, deletion and fetching through sequences of shifts in spatial attention towards registry locations. We apply the model to a serial recall task (both forward and backward orders). We show that the model provides a better fit to human data in backward recall compared to forward recall, which conforms with the evidence for leveraging spatial strategies for backward recall and phonological strategies for forward recall in normal subjects. We discuss additional possible implications of our model and its assumption of spatial organization of WM content and access through shifts of attention.


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