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Interacting Cognitive Subsystems: modeling working memory phenomena within a multi-processor architecture.
In A. Miyake & P. Shah (Eds), Models of Working Memory: Mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control. New York: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 9, pp. 298-339.
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This chapter outlines Interacting Cognitive Subsystems and its approach to accounting for performance in working memory tasks. The five central features of the theory are: The cognitive mechanisms underlying working memory performance involve a multiplicity of processes and types of mental representation. The detailed properties of performance depend upon the configuration of specific process needed to accomplish the task and the specific types of memory records they access and use in executing the task. There are no specific capacity limitations on what is stored at any particular level of mental representations. Capacity limitation can arise out of restrictions on the inter-functioning of processes within a wider system. The accessing and use of memory records requires the generation or revival of a description of the content to be accessed. This can also can also functionally constrain performance. There is no unified "central executive" component, central executive functions are themselves accomplished by processing interactions among subsystems. These points are illustrated for a range of working memory tasks and are used as a basis for answering eight questions about working memory used to compare this approach with nine other theoretical approaches presented in the book.