Professor Valérie Camos

Professor Valérie Camos (website)
Fribourg University (Switzerland)

Valérie Camos is professor of developmental psychology at the University of Fribourg where she created the multidisciplinary Fribourg Center for Cognition. She is a member of the executive committee of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology. Her research focuses on working memory functioning in young adults and children. With her colleague Pierre Barrouillet, they developed the TBRS model, which is conceived as one of the 4 leading models in working memory. She is associate editor of the Journal of Cognitive Psychology and of the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

The Time-Based Resource-Sharing model

This talk presents the Time-Based Resource-Sharing model, a new model that accounts for   working memory (WM) functioning in children and adults. In a multi-level cognitive architecture, a central system, conceived as a self-regulated executive loop involving an episodic buffer and a production system, integrates information from peripheral domain-specific buffers and long-term memory. The executive loop is responsible for constructing WM representations, for maintaining them in the face of decay and interference, and for goal-directed processing by triggering executive functions that modify the content of these representations. Apart from a phonological loop able to maintain a limited amount of verbal information through verbal rehearsal, peripheral buffers are conceived of as passive sensory memories with no specific mechanisms of maintenance. Assuming a sequential functioning of the executive loop and the temporal decay of WM representations, the theory proposes a new definition of the cognitive load. Because memory traces decay, as soon as attention is switched away, the proportion of time during which the processing component of any span task captures attention determines its cognitive load and thus the resulting spans. Using new WM tasks, a series of experiments explored the effect of the cognitive load of distracting activities on maintenance.