On the basis of results from experimental psychology as well as from
neuropsychology, it is commonly assumed that many cognitive
performances are caused by specific processing modules. These modules
are dedicated to specific functions and they have specific
constraints. Some of these modules store information for short term,
for further processing. These latter modules are called working
memory. From the perspective of limited resources, it is important
that working memories are considered as being limited in their
In order to understand the reasons for these limitations and in order
to adapt offered information to subjects' limitations, it is necessary
to know which modules exist, and what are their constraints. In VEVIAG
we want to answer this task for two central components: the verbal and
the visual working memory. It is our aim to disclose the architecture
of these components.
Our experiments should reveal, (a) what types of information are
represented, (b) whether the different types of information are
independent of each other or not, (c) to what extent the modules are
limited in the number of represented elements and in time limitations,
and (d) which specific tasks require which system.
For verbal working memory, the topic is phonological, syntactic and
prosodic information, and their use of short-term remembering of
verbal surface information of read or heard sentences (together with
project NEGRA). In terms of the function, memory for serial temporal
information and the kind of memory access is of interest.
For visual working memory, we are interested in distinguishing between
visual, but not spatial information (e.g., color) on the one hand, and
spatial information on the other hand, as well as discerning different
components within spatial memory. Regarding the function, the tasks of
interest are: memory for positions, spatial localization (together
with the project REAL) and the acquisition of spatial knowledge, e.g.,
by studying geographical maps.