Active processing in visuo-spatial working memory

Tomaso Vecchi, John T E Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The findings of recent research have motivated a theoretical distinction between active and passive components of visuo-spatial working memory, but investigation of the active component has been inhibited by the absence of appropriate experimental tasks. We propose a new experimental procedure involving the mental reconstruction of pictures of objects from fragmented pieces. The results allow one to identify variables affecting the active elaboration of visuo-spatial material, and they support a capacity theory of active visuo-spatial processing. The roles of mental rotation, visual complexity, and processing load are evaluated. Furthermore, this procedure is proposed as a tool to investigate the architecture of visuo-spatial working memory and the relationship between peripheral modality-specific and central amodal processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-31
Number of pages29
JournalCahiers de Psychologie Cognitive
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000


  • Active processing
  • Visuo-spatial cognition
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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