Evie Vergauwe

Evie Vergauwe
University of Geneva | UNIGE · School of Psychology

About

57
Publications
23,265
Reads
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2,274
Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on working memory and attention, particularly on how different kinds of information are mentally maintained in and retrieved from short-term memory and how this interferes with concurrent activities in children and in young adults. Furthermore, I am interested in understanding how working memory limitations are relevant to higher-level cognitive activities such as mental arithmetic and reasoning. I use mainly behavioral techniques, sometimes in combination with neuroimaging techniques.
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - present
University of Missouri
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2006 - December 2012
University of Geneva
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2004 - July 2006
Ghent University
Position
  • Master's Student

Publications

Publications (57)
Preprint
Working memory is the cognitive system that keeps a limited amount of information temporarily accessible for ongoing cognition. One proposed mechanism to keep information active in working memory is refreshing. Refreshing is assumed operate serially, reactivating memory items one by one by bringing them into the focus of attention during retention....
Preprint
Priority-based allocation of attentional resources has shown robust effects in working memory (WM) with both cue-based and reward-based prioritization. However, direct comparisons between these effects in WM are needed. In addition, the consequences of WM prioritization for remembering in the long-term remain unclear for both prioritization procedu...
Preprint
When attention is concentrated on a particular piece of information in working memory, this information is assumed to be in the focus of attention. Many researchers agree that information residing in the focus of attention benefits from enhanced neural activity, protection from perceptual interference, and heightened accessibility for ongoing actio...
Preprint
Attention can be defined as a mechanism for the selection and prioritization of elements among many. When attention is directed to a specific piece of information, this information is assumed to be in the focus of attention. On a day-to-day basis, we need to rely on efficient switching between information we are holding in working memory (internal...
Article
Full-text available
A recent Registered Replication Report (RRR) of the development of verbal rehearsal during serial recall revealed that children verbalized at younger ages than previously thought, but did not identify sources of individual differences. Here, we use mediation analysis to reanalyze data from the 934 children ranging from 5 to 10 years old from the RR...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have demonstrated that when presented with a display of spatially arranged letters, participants seem to remember the letters’ locations when letters are the focus of a recognition test, but do not remember letters’ identity when locations are tested. This strong binding asymmetry suggests that encoding location may be obligatory w...
Article
When holding information in working memory, the proportion of time occupied by a concurrent task determines memory performance. This effect, the cognitive load effect, has been replicated many times. Recent work has referred to it as a law of cognition (Barrouillet, Portrat, & Camos, Psychological review, 118(2), 175-192, 2011) and a Priority-A Ben...
Preprint
A paradigm shift is taking place in our field, with psychology researchers increasingly conducting their studies on the world-wide web. The transition to online experimentation, although promising in myriad ways, entails many new concerns. Researchers want to ensure that the quality from online collected data is comparable to what they typically ac...
Article
Full-text available
Working memory is a cognitive system responsible for maintaining information. It is often assumed to contain different states of accessibility of information, which is highest for an item held in the focus of attention. Evidence for this heightened accessibility usually comes from item-recognition tasks, in which a memory list is followed by a prob...
Article
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The present study concerns a preregistered replication of the study conducted by Johnson et al . (Johnson et al. 2013 Psychol. Sci. 24 , 1104–1112 ( doi:10.1177/0956797612466414 )), in which they showed an inhibition-of-return-like effect in working memory. Inhibition of return is a well-known phenomenon observed in the field of perception and refe...
Article
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Work by Flavell, Beach, and Chinsky indicated a change in the spontaneous production of overt verbalization behaviors when comparing young children (age 5) with older children (age 10). Despite the critical role that this evidence of a change in verbalization behaviors plays in modern theories of cognitive development and working memory, there has...
Article
An ongoing major debate centers around whether multi-tasking in working memory, that is, performing several mental activities at once, is supported by multiple specialized domain-specific or by a single-purpose domain-general cognitive resources. Working memory theories differ in their explanations and predictions about when performing two mental t...
Article
The capacity of working memory is limited and undergoes important developmental changes during childhood. One proposed reason for the expansion of working memory capacity during childhood is the emergence and increased efficiency of active maintenance mechanisms, such as that of refreshing. Refreshing is a proposed mechanism to keep information act...
Article
Full-text available
Working memory performance is impaired when an attention-demanding task is executed during memory retention. The cognitive load effect is the consistent finding that the size of the memory impairment is determined by the relative amount of time that the secondary processing task occupies attention during memory retention. Cognitive load has been pr...
Article
Full-text available
This study tests an important and appealing hypothesis that has been around in the fields of cognitive psycho logy and neuroscience for over 40 years, but that lacks a conclusive empirical test. According to this hypothesis, there is a direct relationship between speed and capacity in working memory. Working memory refers to the ability to retain a...
Article
Full-text available
There is a long-standing debate over whether the passage of time causes forgetting from working memory, a process called trace decay. Researchers providing evidence against the existence of trace decay generally study memory by presenting familiar verbal memory items for 1 s or more per memory item, during the study period. In contrast, researchers...
Preprint
Full-text available
According to the Justified True Belief (JTB) account of knowledge, a person’s ability to know something is defined by having a belief that is both justified and true (i.e., knowledge is justified true belief). However, this account fails to consider the role of luck. In 1963, Gettier argued that JTB is insufficient because it does not account for c...
Article
Attentional refreshing allows the maintenance of information in working memory and has received growing interest in recent years. However, it is still ill-defined and several proposals have been put forward to account for its functioning. Among them, some proposals suggest that refreshing relies on the retrieval of knowledge from semantic long-term...
Article
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Concerns about the veracity of psychological research have been growing. Many findings in psychological science are based on studies with insufficient statistical power and nonrepresentative samples, or may otherwise be limited to specific, ungeneralizable settings or populations. Crowdsourced research, a type of large-scale collaboration in which...
Article
We respond to the comments of Logie and Vandierendonck to our article proposing benchmark findings for evaluating theories and models of short-term and working memory. The response focuses on the two main points of criticism: (a) Logie and Vandierendonck argue that the scope of the set of benchmarks is too narrow. We explain why findings on how wor...
Article
Any mature field of research in psychology-such as short-term/working memory-is characterized by a wealth of empirical findings. It is currently unrealistic to expect a theory to explain them all; theorists must satisfice with explaining a subset of findings. The aim of the present article is to make the choice of that subset less arbitrary and idi...
Poster
Full-text available
In this two experiments, we explore the Instructed Refreshing paradigm to investigate it's putative domain-general nature and involvement of refreshing
Article
It is commonly assumed that attention-demanding post-encoding processes take place during the free time immediately following encoding of each memory item in a list. These processes are thought to prevent loss of information from working memory (WM). We tested whether inter-item pauses during presentation of a list are used to focus attention (1) o...
Preprint
Concerns have been growing about the veracity of psychological findings. Many findings in psychological science are based on studies with insufficient statistical power and non-representative samples, or may otherwise be limited to specific, ungeneralizable settings or populations. Large-scale collaboration, in which one or more research projects a...
Article
Full-text available
Working memory is one of the most important topics of research in cognitive psychology. The cognitive revolution that introduced the computer metaphor to describe human cognitive functioning called for this system in charge of the temporary storage of incoming or retrieved information to permit its processing. In the past decades, one particular me...
Article
Full-text available
Working memory, the system allowing for a simultaneous maintenance and processing of information, is typically conceived as a capacity limited system. A proposed method to transcend its standard maintenance capacity is to maintain multifeature objects, instead of isolated features. Several studies have shown that multifeature memory items are store...
Article
Working Memory (WM) keeps information temporarily accessible for ongoing cognition. Refreshing is a proposed mechanism to keep information active in WM, by bringing memory items into the focus of attention. We report five experiments in which we examined the local effects of refreshing. Participants were either instructed to refresh (to think of) t...
Article
Working memory (WM) keeps information temporarily accessible for ongoing cognition. One proposed mechanism to keep information active in WM is refreshing. This mechanism is assumed to operate by bringing memory items into the focus of attention, thereby serially refreshing the content of WM. We report two experiments in which we examine evidence fo...
Article
Refreshing is one of the mechanisms proposed to maintain information in human working memory. The mechanism is assumed to operate serially, boosting the items of a memory list one after the other. In the current study, we test the most straightforward implementation of serial refreshing, by which refreshing spontaneously reproduces the order of pre...
Article
One of the functions that attention may serve in working memory (WM) is boosting information accessibility, a mechanism known as attentional refreshing. Refreshing is assumed to be a domain‐general process operating on visual, spatial, and verbal representations alike. So far, few studies have directly manipulated refreshing of individual WM repres...
Article
Full-text available
The present study focused on refreshing within a working memory (WM) context. Refreshing refers to the mechanism that brings back information into the focus of attention in order to counteract forgetting of memory traces. Despite some research on this topic, the exact nature of refreshing remains unclear. The present study investigated refreshing b...
Article
As a capacity-limited system, working memory (WM) is at risk to be cluttered by no-longer-relevant items and distractors, which makes it necessary for WM to have some cleaning mechanism. A prominent approach in WM assumes that active inhibition by deletion of distractors fulfills this function, more efficient inhibition resulting in better WM perfo...
Article
In the last decade, major strides have been made in understanding visual working memory through mathematical modeling of color production responses. In the delayed color estimation task (Wilken & Ma, 2004), participants are given a set of colored squares to remember and a few seconds later asked to reproduce those colors by clicking on a color whee...
Article
Full-text available
This work takes a historical approach to discussing Brown's (195821. Brown, J. (1958). Some tests of the decay theory of immediate memory. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 10, 12–21. doi:10.1080/17470215808416249View all references) paper, “Some Tests of the Decay Theory of Immediate Memory”. This work was and continues to be extre...
Article
One popular idea is that, to support the maintenance of a set of elements over brief periods of time, the focus of attention rotates among the different elements, thereby serially refreshing the content of working memory (WM). In the research reported here, probe letters were presented between to-be-remembered letters, and response times to these p...
Article
This article discusses how information that is no longer available for perception is maintained mentally. To do so, the psychological concepts of short-term memory and working memory are introduced. Next, two different research traditions in the literature are discussed, together with the key theories and findings of each tradition. From that, we w...
Article
There is substantial debate in the field of short-term memory as to whether the process of active maintenance occurs through memory-trace reactivation or repair. A key difference between these two potential mechanisms is that a repair mechanism should lead to recovery of forgotten information. The ability to recover forgotten memories would be a pa...
Article
Working memory is often defined in cognitive psychology as a system devoted to the simultaneous processing and maintenance of information. In line with the Time-Based Resource-Sharing model of working memory (TBRS; Barrouillet and Camos, 2015; Barrouillet et al., 2004), there is accumulating evidence that, when memory items have to be maintained wh...
Article
We compared two contrasting hypotheses of how multi-featured objects are stored in visual working memory (vWM): as integrated objects or as independent features. A new procedure was devised to examine vWM representations of several concurrently-held objects and their features and our main measure was reaction time (RT), allowing an examination of t...
Article
Full-text available
We address short-term memory development and the role of covert verbal rehearsal (CVR), the imagined pronunciation of items from a list to be recalled. We suggest insights based on studies of serial and free recall. The research in adults has taken two tacks. (1) Overt rehearsal responses have been elicited to study what CVR strategies may occur, a...
Article
Refreshing refers to the use of attention to reactivate items in working memory (WM). The current study aims at testing the hypothesis that refreshing is closely related to memory search. The assumption is that refreshing and memory search both rely on a basic covert memory process that quickly retrieves the memory items into the focus of attention...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the role of attention in maintaining information between visual features in visual working memory. In a change detection paradigm, two different memory conditions were created, one that required the maintenance of features and one that required the maintenance of how the features were bound together. During the short retention i...
Article
Full-text available
This brief commentary suggests that the usefulness of the concept of intelligence might depend on how one defines intelligence and on whether one is using it for scientific or practical purposes. Furthermore, it is suggested that the concept of working memory must not be overlooked when considering individual differences in intelligence.
Article
Full-text available
We examine the relationship between response speed and the number of items in short-term memory (STM) in four different paradigms and find evidence for a similar high-speed processing rate of about 25-30 items per second (∼35-40 ms/item). We propose that the similarity of the processing rates across paradigms reflects the operation of a very basic...
Article
Full-text available
Working memory is typically defined as a system devoted to the simultaneous maintenance and processing of information. However, the interplay between these 2 functions is still a matter of debate in the literature, with views ranging from complete independence to complete dependence. The time-based resource-sharing model assumes that a central bott...
Article
Full-text available
The episodic buffer has been described as a structure of working memory capable of maintaining multimodal information in an integrated format. Although the role of the episodic buffer in binding features into objects has received considerable attention, several of its characteristics have remained rather underexplored. This is the case for its main...
Article
This work takes a historical approach to discussing Brown’s (1958) paper, “Some Tests of the Decay Theory of Immediate Memory”. This work was and continues to be extremely influential in the field of forgetting over the short-term. Its primary importance is in establishing a theoretical basis to consider a process of fundamental importance, memory...
Article
The fact that adults exhibit a defective truth table when evaluating “If p then q” conditional statement and judge ¬p cases as irrelevant for the truth value of the conditional has been considered as one of the main evidence against the mental model theory and in favour of Evans' (2007) suppositional account of conditional. If judgements of irrelev...
Article
Full-text available
The present study addresses the existence of a central pool of domain-general resources in working memory. For this purpose, we examined interference between processing and storage activities involving information pertaining to different domain (verbal vs. visuo-spatial) while explicitly minimising representation-based interference at the periphera...
Article
Full-text available
The sources of forgetting in working memory (WM) are a matter of intense debate: Is there a time-related decay of memory traces, or is forgetting uniquely due to representation-based interference? In a previous study, we claimed to have provided evidence supporting the temporal decay hypothesis (S. Portrat, P. Barrouillet, & V. Camos, 2008). Howeve...
Article
Full-text available
What determines success and failure in dual-task situations? Many theories propose that the extent to which two activities can be performed concurrently depends on the nature of the information involved in the activities. In particular, verbal and visuospatial activities are thought to be fueled by distinct resources, so that interference occurs be...
Article
Full-text available
Examinations of interference between visual and spatial materials in working memory have suggested domain- and process-based fractionations of visuo-spatial working memory. The present study examined the role of central time-based resource sharing in visuo-spatial working memory and assessed its role in obtained interference patterns. Visual and sp...
Article
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The time-based resource-sharing model (P. Barrouillet, S. Bernardin, & V. Camos, 2004) assumes that during complex working memory span tasks, attention is frequently and surreptitiously switched from processing to reactivate decaying memory traces before their complete loss. Three experiments involving children from 5 to 14 years of age investigate...
Article
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The present study analyzed the role of phonological and executive components of working memory in the borrow operation in complex subtractions (Experiments 1 and 2) and in the carry operation in complex multiplications (Experiments 3 and 4). The number of carry and borrow operations as well as the value of the carry were manipulated. Results indica...
Article
Full-text available
According to the time-based resource-sharing model (P. Barrouillet, S. Bernardin, & V. Camos, 2004), the cognitive load a given task involves is a function of the proportion of time during which it captures attention, thus impeding other attention-demanding processes. Accordingly, the present study demonstrates that the disruptive effect on concurr...

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Projects (2)
Project
The goal of this collaborative Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA) and Collaborative Replications and Education Project (CREP) study is two-fold. First, we aim to directly replicate an influential experimental philosophy study on epistemics (Turri, Buckwalter, & Blouw, 2015) across multiple independent labs. Second, each independent lab will be led by an instructor-supervised student team, thus providing a pedagogical platform for educating junior researchers on best practices in rigorous, open science.