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The Working Memory Model

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The Working Memory Model (WMM) revolutionizes our understanding of short-term memory by introducing a dynamic system with specialized subsystems. It includes the Central Executive, which directs attention and cognitive processes, the Phonological Loop for auditory information, the Visuospatial Sketchpad for visual and spatial data, and the Episodic Buffer for integrating multimodal information. These components work together to facilitate complex cognitive tasks and memory manipulation.

Exploring the Facets of the Working Memory Model

The Working Memory Model (WMM), conceived by Alan Baddeley and Graham Hitch in 1974, offers a sophisticated perspective on short-term memory (STM), challenging the earlier, more simplistic Multi-Store Model (MSM) by Atkinson and Shiffrin. The WMM proposes that STM is an active processing system, handling multiple types of information through specialized subsystems, rather than acting as a mere intermediary to long-term memory (LTM). This model delineates STM as a dynamic workspace where information is manipulated and processed, in contrast to LTM, which serves as a more static storehouse for accumulated knowledge.
Detailed model of human brain with modern black headphones and notebook with pencil on neutral background, transparent cube hanging above.

The Central Executive: Orchestrating Working Memory

The central executive (CE) is the pivotal component of the Working Memory Model, functioning as the orchestrator of attention and the activities of the subsidiary systems, or 'slave systems.' The CE is tasked with the execution of higher-order cognitive processes, including problem-solving, decision-making, and reasoning. It selectively attends to sensory input and delegates specific tasks to the appropriate slave systems. The CE itself does not store information and is characterized by a limited processing capacity, typically managing only one or two complex tasks simultaneously.

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The ______ ______ Model, developed by ______ and ______ in ______, redefines short-term memory as a complex system.

Working Memory





Central Executive: Function?

Orchestrates attention, manages slave systems, executes higher-order cognitive tasks.


Central Executive: Capacity?

Limited processing capacity, handles one or two complex tasks at a time.


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