The Working Memory Model.


Psychology (Remembering and Forgetting.) Mind Map on The Working Memory Model., created by Stephanie Price on 01/06/2013.
Stephanie Price
Mind Map by Stephanie Price, updated more than 1 year ago
Stephanie Price
Created by Stephanie Price almost 11 years ago

Resource summary

The Working Memory Model.
  1. In 1974, Baddeley and Hitch extended Atkinson and Shiffrin's work on the multi-store model and developed a much more sophisticated understanding of short-term memory, the working memory model.
    1. Research Study: Logie et al. (1989).
    2. According to Baddeley and Hitch, working memory consists of three main components:
      1. The Central Executive (THE CONTROLLER).
        1. This controls and co-ordinates the operation of the other components.
          1. It has a limited capacity.
          2. The Phonological Store (THE SOUND SYSTEM).
            1. This is responsible for processing sound-based information.
              1. Later investigations led to the proposal of two sub-components of the phonological store:.
                1. The Articulatory Loop (INNER VOICE).
                  1. This is a limited-capacity verbal rehearsal component, which is used to prepare speech and to think in words, as when doing mental arithmetic or memorising a phone number.
                    1. The capacity of the articulatory loop is determined by how long it takes to say something and not simply by the number of items.
                    2. If the articulatory loop has a limited capacity determined by the length of time it takes to verbally rehearse information, then we should be able to remember more single-syllable names than triple-syllable names, given the same amount of time.
                    3. The Primary Acoustic Store (INNER EAR).
                      1. This is a limited-capacity auditory rehearsal system which receives sound information from the environment.
                        1. The primary acoustic store also receives auditory information from our own internal speech via the articulatory loop, E.g. When we 'hear' in our head what we are thinking.
                      2. Evidence for two separate subsystems in the phonological loop comes from experiments which involve measuring the blood flow in participants' brains when they are carrying out different types of memory tasks.
                        1. Research Study: Paulesu et al. (1993)
                        2. The Visuospatial Scratch Pad (INNER EYE).
                          1. This is a visuospatial rehearsal system where we can image and manipulate visual and spatial information.
                            1. The best way to understand the visuospatial scratch pad is to shut your eyes and imagine the layout of the room around you. Imagine standing and making your way to the door. According to Baddeley (1997), the visuospatial scratch pad helps us to monitor where we are in relation to other objects as we move around our environment.
                            2. The scratch pad can also be used to store visual information that has been encoded from verbal stimuli, such as words. E.g. If someone says the word 'beach', you might conjure up an image of a sandy white beach with palm trees.
                              1. Due to the limited capacity of the visuospatial scratch pad, it is difficult to perform several visuospatial tasks at the same time, as any learner driver will testify.
                            3. The central executive is the key component of the working memory system (Eysenck and Keane 2000), acting more like a system which controls attention processes than as a memory store.
                              1. The central executive enables us to selectively attend to some stimuli and ignore others. It also plays a role in retrieving information from long-term memory.
                                1. In our everyday activities, the central executive helps us to decide when and how to act (Matlin 2002).
                                  1. Baddeley (1986, 1999) has compared the central executive to a company boss making decisions, selecting strategies for dealing with problems. It also integrates information from assistants (the other components), and calls on information held in a large database (long-term memory) (Matlin 2002).
                                  2. If the central executive is heavily involved in controlling one task, it is very difficult for it to do another job at the same time.
                                    1. Research Study: Robbins et al. (1996).
                                  3. Evaluation.
                                    1. As the role of the central executive is very broad, the model helps us to understand the link between the different cognitive processes, such as memory, perception and attention.
                                      1. Working memory is a much more flexible alternative to the fixed-capacity, short-term store of the multi-store model, and it sees memory as active rather than passive (Eysenck and Keane 2000). It considers how we use our short-term memory for everyday activities.
                                        1. The theory has important implications for the assessment and treatment of people with processing difficulties.
                                          1. Problems with the phonological loop system may be responsible for difficulties in learning to read (Baddeley et al. 1998). Children who have difficulty reading often perform badly on tasks which use the phonological loop, such as deciding whether or not two words rhyme.
                                            1. Problems experienced by patients with brain damage can be explained using the working memory model. E.g. If only the visuospatial scratch pad is damaged, then performance on tasks which rely on the phonological loop will remain unimpaired.
                                            2. The working memory model explains only the short-term memory and makes no attempt to explain long-term memorising. as such, it does not provide an overall theory of memory.
                                              1. We know relatively little about the central executive, even though it is the most important component of the model (Baddeley 1997).
                                              2. Baddeley continues to develop and refine the working memory model.
                                                1. He has recently proposed the existence of another sub-component, the episodic buffer, that enables communication between working memory, long-term memory and present experience or consciousness.
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