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Psychology & Neuroscience

On-line version ISSN 1983-3288


NOBRE, Alexandre de Pontes et al. Tasks for assessment of the episodic buffer: a systematic review. Psychol. Neurosci. [online]. 2013, vol.6, n.3, pp.331-343. ISSN 1983-3288.

The aim of the present study was to review the tasks that have been used to assess the functioning of the episodic buffer in Baddeley's multicomponent model of working memory. A systematic review of studies published from January 2000 to February 2013 was conducted. The search term "episodic buffer" was used in the Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO, PubMed, Embase, and BVS-Psi databases. The selected articles consisted of empirical studies that used tasks to assess the episodic buffer. Theoretical and review papers and studies with animals were excluded. The final sample comprised 36 papers. The tasks were categorized as experimental tasks or standardized tests. The experimental tasks were grouped by modality (unimodal or crossmodal) and described according to four criteria: task to be performed, type of stimulus used, secondary task employed, if any, and retention interval. The standardized tests included classical measures of working memory. Some tasks were found not to meet experimental criteria that were needed to evaluate the episodic buffer. Moreover, some of the standardized tests did not provide theoretical arguments or empirical evidence that the episodic buffer is recruited to perform them. The results are discussed in the context of the multicomponent model of working memory.

Keywords : working memory; episodic buffer; binding; experimental task; standardized test.

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