article 1 working memory and fluid intelligence - Psychon Bull Rev DOI I 0.375 8\/s I 3 Q0l2 19:864 4 12-0225-Y 87O 423 BRIEF REPORT Task rules

article 1 working memory and fluid intelligence -...

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Psychon Bull Rev Q0l2) 19:864 87O DOI I 0.375 8/s I 3 423 4 12-0225 -Y BRIEF REPORT Task rules, working memory, and fluid intelligence John Duncan. Moritz Schramm' Russell Thompson' Iroise Dumontheil Publislred online: I 8 .IulY 2012 o The Autho(s) 2012. This article is publishedwith open access at Springerlink'com Abstract Many varieties of working memory have been linked to fluid intelligence. [n Duncan et al. (Joumal of Experimental Psychology:General 1 37: 1 3 1-l 48, 2008)' we described limited working memory for new task rules: When rules are complex, some may fail in their control of behavior, though they are often still available for explicit recall. Unlike other kinds of working memory load is de- termined in this case not by real-time perfomnnce demands, but by the total complexity of the task instructions. Here, we show that the coirelation with fluid intelligence is stronger for this aspect of working memory than for several other, more traditional varieties-including simple and complex spans and a test of visual short-term memory. Any task, we prcpose, requires construction of a mental confrol program that aids in se ating and assembling multiple task parts and their controlling rules. Fluid intelligence is linked closely to the efficiency of constmcting such pmgrams, especially when behavior is complex and novel. Keywords Attention ' Executive contol ' Working memory. Individual differences 'Memory capacity J. Duncan (X)'R. Thornpson MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Roa4 Cambridge CB2 7EF, UK e-mail: [email protected]u'cam-ac.uk M Schramm Departrnent of Experimental Psychology, Univenity of Cambridge, Carnbridge, UK l, Dumontheil Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, Inndm" LJK @ sptiog"t ture Fair (Institute for Personality and Ability Testing, 1973),are important fortheirbroad ability to predict success in many different kinds of cognitive activiry, from laborato- ry tests to educational and work achievements. Typically' 'r:#"::! Snow, 1983). A large research lite has investigated what basic cognitive mechanisms are measured in tests of ,J\ J< d{rr'r Working memory however, is a-complex concept' It is often proposed into distinct c short-term stores for materials of diflerent kinds (Baddeley, Previously, we have investigated a ability to foiioilnew task rules shows substantial indi- vidual differences (Duncan et al', some cases' failures take a striking fomr that called "goal / neglect" (Duncan, Emslie, Williams' Johnson, & Freer, 1996): Though rules can be explicitly recalled they exert no apparent control over behavior. Critically, neglect J increases with the task complexity-that is, the number of rules that the task requires @uncan et al., 1996; Duncan et al., 2008). This limit, however, seems rather different from capacity limits that have been fouod in many' mor€
Psychon Bull Rev (2012) 19:864-870 ncllccl Cotr+latrd"t taditional aspects of working memory. In particular, neglect concems not the processing requirements of an individual rules will not be uired and can be ignored @uncan et al., 2008).

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