Background. The paper describes the results of the experimental study of working memory in early schoolchildren and adolescents. The capacity of working memory develops through preadolescence to adolescence, while the developmental changes of representations of serial order are not clear enough so far.
Objective. The accuracy of delayed reproduction of movements (the open polygonal chains, trajectories) reveals. The sample included 32 early schoolchildren (mean age 10.4±0.75 years old) and 25 adolescents (mean age 14.6±0.3 years old). The subjects reproduced trajectories of different length (from 4 to 6 elements) using the graphical tablet. Another factor in the experiment carried out was a mode of stimulus presentation: the trajectories in were presented either as a static line-drawing (static mode) or a small moving pointer (dynamic mode).
Design. The errors of reproduction in two age groups and in different conditions were analyzed. We distinguished three types of errors: (1) severe distortions which are caused by inability to keep the sequence in working memory; (2) insertions or omissions of elements of the trajectory which are related to the problems of encoding the visual spatial information in the motor representation; (3) distortions of proportions of the trajectories, which are related with visual-motor coordination during motor reproduction of the sequences.
Research results showed that in adolescence the accuracy of delayed reproduction is better than in early ages. The most obvious difference in accuracy between the groups of early schoolchildren and adolescents were observed in dynamic mode. The analysis of different types of errors revealed that adolescents less often make insertions and omissions of elements. It may be caused by development of executive functions in adolescents.
Conclusion. The study showed that the capacity of working memory increases in adolescents. In addition, the precision of the representation of serial information are higher in adolescents in the more complicated dynamic mode.
Most modern psychologists who deal with preschool age emphasize the development of executive functions as one of the most important factors in this age. The paper compares two most important and common approaches to disclosing and diagnosing voluntariness in the preschool age: the model of executive functions «unity with diversity» of A. Miyake and the skills theory of L.A. Venger. The model of the executive functions considers three main components of executive functions: working memory; flexibility of attention or switching; restraining control. The basis of cognitive abilities theory is the concept of cultural facilities (sensory standards, visual models, etc.) that are being developed throughout the preschool period. In accordance with these two diagnostic complexes were drawn up, aimed at diagnosing voluntariness in preschool years. The study involved 48 children aged 5-6 years, kindergarten students (24 girls and 24 boys) conducted in Moscow, Russia. The results showed that despite a variety of theoretical approaches to early childhood and voluntariness they reverberate the same reality.
The most revealing methods (the results of which you can predict the eventual consequences) were elaborated: the method of «Inhibition» (subtest of neuropsychological diagnostic complex techniques NEPSY-II, Korkman et al, 2007) in the case of A. Miyake model, and methods of «Schematization» in the abilities theory of L.A. Venger (Venger, Kholmovskaya, 1978).
Working memory is a major construct in many modern cognitive theories. Defining functions of working memory are storage and processing. This paper provides a study of the problems of correspondence between these functions. It has been figured out that the main difference between these two functions is determined by the following dichotomy: independence/dependence of storage and processing. In the context of stimuli and time correlation studies, these two functions are closely related and based on sharing a common non-specific resource. Studies that analyze resource switching and also correlated and isolated functioning of working memory presuppose some independence between storage and processing. It has been mentioned that this assumption requires some specialized ‘dispatcher’, providing an optimal switching between storage and processing with respect to current contextual limits.
Empirical approaches to the study of storage-processing correspondence are analyzed. Based on this analysis, it is concluded that (1) storage and processing depend on unspecific cognitive resources, (2) storage and processing are realized independently from each other; and (3) storage and processing interact on the basis of the switching of resources via a specialized mechanism. The results can be used in the development of working memory models and for the extension of current ideas about the realization of operative storage and processing.
Virtual reality technology is used nowadays in various areas of science, and psychology, in particular. Successful work with virtual reality systems requires that a sense of presence emerges in the user, i.e. the subjective experience of the reality of being located in the artificially created environment and interacting with it. The lack of this experience or its insufficiency result in the interaction possibilities a virtual environment being unexploited. As a psychological phenomenon the sense of presence is caused by various psychological factors besides technological factors. In this paper, the reference literature review shows that the sense of presence is conditioned by demographic, cognitive, personality, and motivational variables. In particular, the sense of presence is dependent on differences in cognitive abilities and personal features, although in the last case the evidence is contradictory. The paper highlights a special role of cognitive control, i.e. metacognitive processes that are responsible for adjusting cognition to the context of the current task, thus emerging the sense of presence. The usage of expertise of psychological factors of the sense of presence in the development of virtual environments allowing effective user interaction is considered. The usage of psychological factors of the sense of presence as criteria for selecting users to operate in virtual environments is discussed. The directed research of various psychological factors that affect the sense of presence will not only support the development of general psychological theory of the sense of presence but also will allow to create effective solutions for fundamental and applied problems using virtual reality technology.