4. Working Memory Flashcards Preview

Memory & Language > 4. Working Memory > Flashcards

Flashcards in 4. Working Memory Deck (21):

Digit span

Component of many IQ tests
Measure of verbal STM

Backwards digit recall is a measure of working memory (may only be suitable in children)


Sentence span

Remembering the last word of a series of short sentences


Counting span

Count the number of coloured shapes... Then recall the number over consecutive tasks


WM Span

Typically 3-5 items


Working memory may predict...

Reading and writing ability
Ability to follow complex instructions
Taking notes
Fluid intelligence
Mathematical ability
Ability to deal with life stress
Academic attainment
Tendency for mind wandering (increased working memory leads to increased wandering for easy tasks but decayed wandering for challenging task)


Working memory is intact and impaired in...

Intact in amnesia

Impaired in: ADHD, ASD, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, DCD, dysexecutive syndrome, dyslexia, depression



Bad delay and hitch working memory model

Proposed WM iS for active storage and processing

Crucial in a range of tasks

Visuospatial sketchpad --> central executive --> phonological loop


Baddely and hitch revised multicomponent model

Compromised the same as above but added...
Central executive
Episodic buffer

And links to LTM


Phonological store

Temporary record of auditory - verbal information
2s capacity after which decay is experienced.
Speech perception and production via passive storage and active rehearsal

word length effect: improved recall with short simple words

Phonological similarity effect: similar sounding words (acoustic similarity) leads to reduced recall

LTM influences STM... lexical knowledge means words are recalled better than non words

STM influences LTM too... WM is involved in learning a new language


WM as a language learning device


Patient (Italian) with damaged WM could recall Italian-Italian word pairs but not Italian-Russian worked pairs

Children's ability to pronounce longer non words predicts language and vocab levels


Visual cache

Passive store of form and colour

(VISUAL SPAN= Visual pattern task)


Inner scribe

Active spatial rehearsal process

(SPATIAL SPAN= Corsi task)


Visual spatial working memory

Temporary storage and manipulation of visual patterns and spatial movement

Experiment: route through a city is impaired by spatial tapping task


VS WM and attention

Change blindness- we cannot see thing change if we are not actively paying attention to the change itself

VS WM is short lived, has a limited capacity and not detailed
-especially not for items that are within focus of attention

Content of VS WM depends on attention

Primacy and recency effects- attention all grab of first item and automatic effect of most recent environmental input


Central executive

Argued it is the centre of consciousness...?

Attention all controller and allocation of resources
Planning and cognitive control
Particularly important for novel situations and non automatised skills

Executive function develops through childhood and declines with healthy ageing



Dysexecutive syndrome

Patient with a pole through his head!

Poor planning, reduced inhibitions and risky behaviours as a result of impaired executive function


Central executive functions...

Inhibition- eg stroop effect, we have to suppress one piece of information to speak the other

Shifting: shifting tasks is plus one minus one etc

Updating : rapid addition or deletion of WM info depending on what is relevant and needed


Episodic buffer

Binding of information between sub systems and with LTM
Creation of new concepts based on existing knowledge

Initially thought to be reliant on central executive.. Now think otherwise

CROSS MODAL BINDING TASKS (I.e. A sound with a strange shape, have to match them up) --> predicts children's reading ability even after controlling for IQ


Episodic buffer capacity

Approx 4 chunks


Criticism of WMM

It's oversimplified as it does not take into account taste and smell memory etc


Working memory

Temporary storage system that underpins ability for complex thought

Ability to keep track of ongoing mental thought processes