What do working-memory tests really measure?

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1):101-102 (1999)
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Abstract

Individuals may differ in the general-attention executive component or in the subordinate domain-specific “slave” components of working memory. Tasks requiring sustained memory representations across attention shifts are reliable, valid indices of executive abilities. Measures emphasizing specific processing skills may increase reliability within restricted samples but will not reflect the attention component responsible for the broad predictive validity of span tasks.

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