Visual-Working-Memory Training Improves Both Quantity and Quality
Previous studies have indicated that adaptive visual-working-memory (VWM) training could increase VWM capacity. However, it is still unclear whether a training effect is observed in comparison with an active control group, whether the training would apply not only to VWM quantity but also to VWM quality, and whether the training effects would transfer to other VWM tasks. The present study investigated the transfer effect of VWM-quantity training to VWM quality and that of VWM-quality training to VWM quantity in comparison with an active control group. Each training group performed change detection tasks for either VWM quantity or quality for a week, whereas the active control group performed a visual-search task. The results indicated that VWM-quantity training increased VWM quality at post-test over the pre-test and compared to the active control group. VWM-quality training also increased VWM quantity over the pre-test, although the increased VWM quantity at post-test was not significantly higher than in the active control group. Although the transfer effect of VWM-quality training to VWM quantity was weak, the present results support a transfer effect of VWM training to VWM quantity and quality. Adjusted adaptive training of VWM would enhance the allocation of limited resources for VWM quantity and quality.
KeywordsVisual working memory Quantity Quality Training Active control group Visual search
The preparation of this paper was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS): Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) (15K21518). No further potential competing financial interests exist.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
I declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
- Alvarez, G. A., & Cavanagh, P. (2004). The capacity of visual short-term memory is set both by visual information load and by number of objects. Psychological Science, 15(2), 106–111. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0963-7214.2004.01502006.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kane, M. J., Poole, B. J., Tuholski, S. W., & Engle, R. W. (2006). Working memory capacity and the top-down control of visual search: exploring the boundaries of “executive attention”. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 32(4), 749–777. https://doi.org/10.1037/0278-73126.96.36.1999.Google Scholar
- Kundu, B., Sutterer, D. W., Emrich, S. M., & Postle, B. R. (2013). Strengthened effective connectivity underlies transfer of working memory training to tests of short-term memory and attention. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(20), 8705–8715. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5565-12.2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Machizawa, M. G., & Driver, J. (2011). Principal component analysis of behavioural individual differences suggests that particular aspects of visual working memory may relate to specific aspects of attention. Neuropsychologia, 49(6), 1518–1526. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.11.032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Redick, T. S., Shipstead, Z., Harrison, T. L., Hicks, K. L., Fried, D. E., Hambrick, D. Z., … Engle, R. W. (2013). No evidence of intelligence improvement after working memory training: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142(2), 359–379. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029082.