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Title: Working memory, situation models, and synesthesia

Research on language comprehension suggests a strong relationship between working memory span measures and language comprehension. However, there is also evidence that this relationship weakens at higher levels of comprehension, such as the situation model level. The current study explored this relationship by comparing 10 grapheme–color synesthetes who have additional color experiences when they read words that begin with different letters and 48 normal controls on a number of tests of complex working memory capacity and processing at the situation model level. On all tests of working memory capacity, the synesthetes outperformed the controls. Importantly, there was no carryover benefit for the synesthetes for processing at the situation model level. This reinforces the idea that although some aspects of language comprehension are related to working memory span scores, this applies less directly to situation model levels. As a result, this suggests that theories of working memory must take into account this limitation, and the working memory processes that are involved in situation model construction and processing must be derived.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN (United States)
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0002-9556
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
American Journal of Psychology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 127; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0002-9556
University of Illinois Press
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; synesthesia; memory; comprehension
OSTI Identifier: