Exploring Functions of Working Memory Related to Fluid Intelligence: Coordination and Relational Integration

Abstract

Two hypothesized functions of working memory – coordination (ability to maintain unrelated storage loads during processing) and integration (ability to integrate multiple elements into a relation) – were explored and compared to fluid intelligence. In Experiment 1, 130 participants completed a modified Latin-Square Task (LST) which experimentally added or reduced storage load. Results suggested that pure integration (with no storage load) could predict Gf, but no difference was found between coordination and integration. Experiment 2 employed the Arithmetic Chain Task (ACT), again with modifications to storage load. Results support replication of LST findings, though a distinction was found between coordination and integration when storage material could not be easily rehearsed. Findings from both experiments support a distinction between coordination and integration tasks in understanding the WM-Gf association.


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