A dedicated system for topographical working memory: evidence from domain-specific interference tests.

Research paper by L L Piccardi, R R Nori, M M Boccia, S S Barbetti, P P Verde, C C Guariglia, F F Ferlazzo

Indexed on: 25 May '15Published on: 25 May '15Published in: Experimental Brain Research


In the present study, we used single- and dual-task conditions to investigate the nature of topographical working memory to better understand what type of task can hamper performance during navigation. During dual-task conditions, we considered four different sources of interference: motor (M), spatial motor (SM), verbal (i.e. articulatory suppression AS) and spatial environmental (SE). In order to assess the nature of topographical working memory, we used the Walking Corsi Test, asking the participants to perform two tasks simultaneously (M, SM, AS and SE). Our results showed that only spatial-environmental interference hampers the execution of a topographical working memory task, suggesting a task-domain-specific effect. We also found general gender differences in the topographical working memory capabilities: men were more proficient than women, regardless of the type of interferences. However, like men, women performed worse when a spatial-environmental interference was present.