The working memory model


The Working memory model

  • The WMM is an explanation of how one aspect of memory is organised and how it functions
  • It is concerned with the part of the mind that is active when we are temporarily storing and manipulating information
  • The model consists of four main components, each of which is qualitatively different especially in terms of coding and capacity

The Central executive

  • CE is used whenever we deal with any task, which makes cognitive demands
  • Although it is of limited capacity, it is a very flexible system that can process information in any sense modality (it is modality free) 
  • It is in charge of monitoring incoming data, making decisions and allocating slave systems to tasks

The phonological loop ('inner voice')

  • The phonological loop deals with auditory information and preserves the order in which the info arrives
  • It is divided into:
    • The phonological store, which stores the words you hear
    • Articulatory control system, which allows maintenance rehearsal (repeating sounds/ words in a 'loop' to keep them in working memory while they are needed). The capacity is thought to be all you can say in two seconds

Visuo-spatial sketchpad

  • This store is responsible for strong visual and/or spatial info when required
  • It has a limited capacity of 3/4 objects

Episodic buffer

  • It is a temporary store for info, integrating…


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