Working-Memory-Triggered Dynamic Adjustments in Cognitive Control

Amishi P. Jha, Anastasia Kiyonaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Dynamic adjustments in cognitive control are well documented in conflict tasks, wherein competition from irrelevant stimulus attributes intensifies selection demands and leads to subsequent performance benefits. The current study investigated whether mnemonic demands, in a working memory (WM) task, can drive similar online control modifications. Demand levels (high vs. low) of WM maintenance (memory load of 2 items vs. 1 item) and delay-spanning distractor interference (confusable vs. not confusable with memoranda) were manipulated using a factorial design during a WM delayed-recognition task. Performance was best subsequent to trials in which both maintenance and distractor interference demands were high, followed by trials with high demand in either of these 2 control domains, and worst following trials with low demand in both domains. These results suggest that dynamic adjustments in cognitive control are not triggered exclusively by conflict-specific contexts but are also triggered by WM demands, revealing a putative mechanism by which this system configures itself for successful task performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1036-1042
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive control
  • Conflict adaptation
  • Dynamic control
  • Sequence effects
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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