Advertisement

The Meeting Point: Where Language Production and Working Memory Share Resources

  • Byurakn Ishkhanyan
  • Kasper Boye
  • Jesper Mogensen
Article
  • 122 Downloads

Abstract

The interaction between working memory and language processing is widely discussed in cognitive research. However, those studies often explore the relationship between language comprehension and working memory (WM). The role of WM is rarely considered in language production, despite some evidence suggesting a relationship between the two cognitive systems. This study attempts to fill that gap by using a complex span task during language production. We make our predictions based on the reorganization of elementary functions neurocognitive model, a usage based theory about grammatical status, and language production models. In accordance with these theories, we expect an overlap between language production and WM at one or more levels of language planning. Our results show that WM is involved at the phonological encoding level of language production and that adding WM load facilitates language production, which leads us to suggest that an extra task-specific storage is being created while the task is performed.

Keywords

Language planning Working memory Language production Grammar and lexicon 

References

  1. Acheson, D. J., & MacDonald, M. C. (2009). Verbal working memory and language production: Common approaches to the serial ordering of verbal information. Psychological Bulletin, 135(1), 50.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen, R., & Hulme, C. (2006). Speech and language processing mechanisms in verbal serial recall. Journal of Memory and Language, 55(1), 64–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bachoud-Lévi, A. C., Dupoux, E., Cohen, L., & Mehler, J. (1998). Where is the length effect? A cross-linguistic study of speech production. Journal of Memory and Language, 39(3), 331–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baddeley, A. (1986). Oxford psychology series, No. 11. Working memory.Google Scholar
  5. Baddeley, A. (2000). The episodic buffer: a new component of working memory? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4(11), 417–423.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Baddeley, A. (2003). Working memory: looking back and looking forward. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4(10), 829–839.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Baddeley, A. D., & Hitch, G. (1974). Working memory. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 8, 47–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bates, D., Maechler, M., & Bolker, B. (2012). lme4: Linear mixed-effects models using S4 classes. R Package Version, 1(7), 1–23.Google Scholar
  9. Bock, K., & Levelt, W. (2002). Language production. In G. T. M. Altmann (Ed.), Psycholinguistics: Critical concepts in psychology (Vol. 5, pp. 945–984). London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  10. Boersma, P. P. G. (2002). Praat, a system for doing phonetics by computer. Glot International, 5, 341–345.Google Scholar
  11. Boye, K., & Harder, P. (2012). A usage-based theory of grammatical status and grammaticalization. Language, 88(1), 1–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Caplan, D., & Waters, G. S. (1999). Verbal working memory and sentence comprehension. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22(01), 77–94.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Cherry, K. E., & Park, D. C. (1993). Individual difference and contextual variables influence spatial memory in younger and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 8(4), 517.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Conrad, R., & Hull, A. J. (1964). Information, acoustic confusion and memory span. British Journal of Psychology, 55, 132–429.Google Scholar
  15. Conway, A. R., Kane, M. J., Bunting, M. F., Hambrick, D. Z., Wilhelm, O., & Engle, R. W. (2005). Working memory span tasks: A methodological review and user’s guide. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 12(5), 769–786.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Corsi, P. (1972). Human memory and the medial temporal region of the brain. In Doctoral dissertation, Montreal, QC: McGill University. Diss. Abstr. Int, 34.Google Scholar
  17. Cowan, N. (1988). Evolving conceptions of memory storage, selective attention, and their mutual constraints within the human information-processing system. Psychological Bulletin, 104(2), 163.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Cowan, N. (1999). An embedded-processes model of working memory. In A. Miyake & P. Shah (Eds.), Models of working memory: Mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control (Vol. 20, p. 506). Cambridge: Campridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Cowan, N. (2008). What are the differences between long-term, short-term, and working memory? Progress in Brain Research, 169, 323–338.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Daneman, M., & Carpenter, P. A. (1980). Individual differences in working memory and reading. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 19(4), 450–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Daneman, M., & Green, I. (1986). Individual differences in comprehending and producing words in context. Journal of Memory and Language, 25(1), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Daneman, M., & Merikle, P. M. (1996). Working memory and language comprehension: A meta-analysis. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 3(4), 422–433.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Fedorenko, E., Gibson, E., & Rohde, D. (2006). The nature of working memory capacity in sentence comprehension: Evidence against domain-specific working memory resources. Journal of Memory and Language, 54(4), 541–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ferreira, F. (1991). Effects of length and syntactic complexity on initiation times for prepared utterances. Journal of Memory and Language, 30(2), 210–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ferreira, F., & Swets, B. (2002). How incremental is language production? Evidence from the production of utterances requiring the computation of arithmetic sums. Journal of Memory and Language, 46(1), 57–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Friedmann, N., & Gvion, A. (2003). Sentence comprehension and working memory limitation in aphasia: A dissociation between semantic-syntactic and phonological reactivation. Brain and Language, 86(1), 23–39.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Garrett, M. F. (1975). The analysis of sentence production. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 9, 133–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gordon, P. C., Hendrick, R., & Levine, W. H. (2002). Memory-load interference in syntactic processing. Psychological Science, 13(5), 425–430.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Hartsuiker, R. J., & Barkhuysen, P. N. (2006). Language production and working memory: The case of subject-verb agreement. Language and Cognitive Processes, 21(1–3), 181–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hulme, C., Maughan, S., & Brown, G. D. (1991). Memory for familiar and unfamiliar words: Evidence for a long-term memory contribution to short-term memory span. Journal of Memory and Language, 30(6), 685–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ishkhanyan, B., Sahraoui, H., Harder, P., Mogensen, J., & Boye, K. (2017). Grammatical and lexical pronoun dissociation in French speakers with agrammatic aphasia: a usage-based account and REF-based hypothesis. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 44, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ivanova, M. V., & Hallowell, B. (2014). A new modified listening span task to enhance validity of working memory assessment for people with and without aphasia. Journal of Communication Disorders, 52, 78–98.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. Just, M. A., & Carpenter, P. A. (1992). A capacity theory of comprehension: individual differences in working memory. Psychological Review, 99(1), 122–149.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Kane, M. J., Conway, A. R., Miura, T. K., & Colflesh, G. J. (2007). Working memory, attention control, and the N-back task: A question of construct validity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 33(3), 615.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Kirchner, W. K. (1958). Age differences in short-term retention of rapidly changing information. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55(4), 352.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Klapp, S. T., Greim, D. M., & Marshburn, E. A. (1981). Buffer storage of programmed articulation and articulatory loop: Two names for the same mechanism or two distinct components of short-term memory. In J. B. Long & A. D. Baddeley (Eds.), Attention and performance IX (pp. 459–472). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Elbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  37. Klaus, J., Mädebach, A., Oppermann, F., & Jescheniak, J. D. (2017). Planning sentences while doing other things at the same time: Effects of concurrent verbal and visuospatial working memory load. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70(4), 811–831.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. MacDonald, M. C. (2016). Speak, act, remember the language-production basis of serial order and maintenance in Verbal Memory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25(1), 47–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Meyer, A. S., Roelofs, A., & Levelt, W. J. (2003). Word length effects in object naming: The role of a response criterion. Journal of Memory and Language, 48(1), 131–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Michel Lange, V., Messerschmidt, M., & Boye, K. (2017a). Contrasting grammatical and lexical determiners. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 47(3), 467–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Michel Lange, V., Messerschmidt, M., Harder, P., Siebner, H. R., & Boye, K. (2017b). Planning and production of grammatical and lexical verbs in multi-word messages. PLoS ONE, 12(11), e0186685.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  42. Miyake, A., Friedman, N. P., Rettinger, D. A., Shah, P., & Hegarty, M. (2001). How are visuospatial working memory, executive functioning, and spatial abilities related? A latent-variable analysis. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 130(4), 621–641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mogensen, J. (2011). Reorganization in the injured brain: implications for studies of the neural substrate of cognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 2(7), 39–48.Google Scholar
  44. Mogensen, J. (2014). Reorganization of elementary functions (REF) after brain injury and in the intact brain. In A. Costa & E. Villalbe (Eds.), Horizons in neuroscience research (pp. 99–140). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Incorporated.Google Scholar
  45. Peirce, J. W. (2007). PsychoPy—psychophysics software in Python. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 162(1), 8–13.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  46. Power, M. J. (1985). Sentence production and working memory. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 37(3), 367–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. R Core Team. (2012). Vienna. Austria: R foundation for statistical computing.Google Scholar
  48. Swanson, H. L., Cochran, K. F., & Ewers, C. A. (1989). Working memory in skilled and less skilled readers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 17(2), 145–156.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Wright, H. H., Downey, R. A., Gravier, M., Love, T., & Shapiro, L. P. (2007). Processing distinct linguistic information types in working memory in aphasia. Aphasiology, 21(6–8), 802–813.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nordic Studies and LinguisticsUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.General Linguistics and Language TechnologyUniversity of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland
  3. 3.School of Communication and CultureAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark
  4. 4.The Unit for Cognitive Neuroscience (UCN), Department of PsychologyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations