Has research shown that keeping information in short-term memory, like two words or two numbers, make planning and completing a physical task more difficult?

  • $\begingroup$ It's difficult but not impossible! Many tasks like playing chess involves attention to multiple details like position, board, pieces with wide variety of moves but chessmasters can easily achieve perfection in these after a little practise. Similarly aircraft pilots have to keep in mind various flight parameters while cruising, takeoff or landing but they become fluent after training. $\endgroup$
    – manav m-n
    May 22, 2018 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your reply, Manav. The board is right in front of the chess player, he does not have to remember where the pieces are. Someone has added flashing lights and beeps, and a red zone on the dial when flight parameters are not within a correct range. How much harder would it be if the chess champion had to play from memory? How much harder would flying be without the flashing lights, beeps, and red zone? $\endgroup$
    – Lynne
    May 23, 2018 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you should take a look at blind chess. Although less popular there are chess players who can play blindfolded. Also there are times when the aircraft's critical systems fail like autopilot, the pilot then has no visual aid if flight computer is down. The pilot then relies on his past experience to attempt safe landing. Other things aside regarding your original question a good reference would be neuroplasticity. $\endgroup$
    – manav m-n
    May 23, 2018 at 18:05
  • $\begingroup$ My question is more about improved planning and motor performance when short-term memory is not busy rehearsing. Using the chess example, I believe all the best players see the chessboard. With the pilot example, all the passengers will be nervous. My specific question is: will a tennis player have improved strategy and planning if he does not need to keep the score in short-term memory? $\endgroup$
    – Lynne
    May 23, 2018 at 20:10


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