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Department of Psychology Cognitive Psychology

The focus of attention in working memory

We can hold a limited set of information elements (e.g., words or digits) in working memory simultaneously. Within that set, we can focus on one element and do some cognitive work with it. For instance, when a friend tell us their new phone number (834 56 93), we can hold this number in working memory. When our friend then corrects herself: “actually, the last digit is 5!”, we can focus attention on the last digit and update it to 5. We investigate how rapidly the focus of attention can be directed to a new element in working memory, and what consequences it has when an element is focused.

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Prof. Klaus Oberauer