The Development of Working Memory: Exploring the Complementarity of Two Models

Eva Kemps, Stijn De Rammelaere, Timothy Desmet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the paper was to further explore the complementarity of the working memory models postulated by Pascual-Leone and Baddeley. Five-, six-, eight-, and nine-year-old children were assessed on two working memory tasks that have frequently been used within the respective streams of research: the Mr. Peanut task and the Corsi blocks task. Results indicated a developmental increase in spatial short-term memory for both tasks. Concurrent spatial suppression reduced performance on the two tasks in all four age groups. By contrast, articulatory suppression interfered with recall only on the Mr. Peanut task, and in only the older children. The two models were shown to make their own specific contribution to the interpretation of the data, attesting to their complementarity. Pascual-Leone's theory offered a clear explanation of the results concerning the central aspects of working memory, that is, the stepwise age-related increase in performance, whereas Baddeley's model provided a convincing account of the findings regarding the peripheral phonological and visuo-spatial components, that is, the effects of articulatory and spatial suppression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-109
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive development
  • Information processing capacity
  • Memory development
  • Rehearsal strategies
  • Short-term memory
  • Spatial memory
  • Working memory models


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