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The role of working memory in mediating contextual influences upon reading is investigated. Efficiency of contextual processing is assessed by the accuracy and latency with which people read heteronyms embedded in disambiguating text. Working memory is manipulated by preloading readers with varying numbers of digits to be subsequently recalled. It is concluded that it is the central executive rather than the articulatory loop component of working memory that is crucial for contextual processing. © 1982 North-Holland Publishing Company

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