Altmann and Gray, 2000

Altmann, E. M., & Gray, W. D. (2000). Managing attention by preparing to forget. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 44th Annual Meeting. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Managing Attention by Preparing to Forget

In dynamic task environments, human operators must update their memory for what is true of the current situation. This updating depends on forgetting old information, and this forgetting in turn places constraints on how an item is encoded in the first place - the cognitive system must prepare to forget. Functional decay theory accurately predicts how long this preparation takes - concentrated use of an item for about 5 set requires an additional 1 set for initial encoding. This quantitative prediction illustrates the potential of functional decay theory for evaluating cognitive workload.

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