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Flashcards in Working Memory & Executive Function Deck (13):

Multi-Store Model of Memory

3 stages:

1. Short-lived Sensory memory- initial stage; holds all incoming info (lg amount) for a short amt of time- info decays very quickly 

2. STM-system stores small amts of info for brief period of time-  5-7 items for 15-30 seconds

3. LTM- large amount for long time


Iconic memory vs echoic memory

iconic- visual icon echoic- persistence of sound



when rehearsal is prevented- 15-20 s George Miller - "the magical number 7 plus or minus 2" typical results 5-8 items, probably more like 4 depending on what you call an item W/ chunking- STM capacity is about 4 chunks


Working memory (WM)

limited capacity system for temporary storage & manipulation of info for complex tasks- such as comprehension, learning  and reasoning

Baddeley & Hitch replaced concept of ST store with WM


How do STM and WM differ?

STM: is a single component; holds info for brief period


WM: consists of multiple parts; manipulation of info that occurs during complex cognition


Phonological loop

hold speech-based info ; verbal rehearsal of central importance

- phonological similarity effect: letters or words that sound similar are confused

- word-length effect: memory span lower for words that take a long time to say

2 components:

phonological store: holds info for a few seconds;

passive articulatory rehearsal process: rehearsal keeps items in store from decaying


If a study involves articulatory suppression, what is likely to happen?

articulatory suppression eliminates word-length effect because it prevents access to phonological store


Visuospatial Sketchpad

holds spatial and visual info

visual cache: stores visual form and color info

inner scribe: processes spatial and movement info; involved in rehearsal of visual cache info

Visuospatial sketchpad is separate from phonological loop; some dual studies show pointing easier than speaking


Describe Baddeley's WM Model 


Q image thumb

WM set up to process different types of info simultaneously but when similar types of into are presented at same time it has trouble 

Baddeley's model- introduced episodic buffer:

 a backup store that communicates with LTM and WM components; holds info longer and has greater capacity; integrates from 2 systems; passive store 




The Central Executive

other systems are slave to it 

resembles attention: 

  • focus, divide, switch attention 
  • controls supression of irrelevant info

executive processes: organize & coordinate cognitive function to acheive current goals 



Neurobiology of WM?

and retention period? 

Early work implicates PFC but evidence shows network activations of a larger scale 

- not likely a single area

-engages task-relevant AND disengage DMN 

Retention period: the "delay" is working memory.  the magnitude of activity during a task correlated positively with the accuracy of the memory-guided saccade that followed later.  SO findings are more consistent with a system where active maintenance invovles the recruitment of the same circuitry that represents the info itself with diff. circuits for diff. types of spatial info 


Describe the Simon task

choice reaction time task 

colors appear on different sides 

your task: left button if red; right button if green

Simon effect= size of RT difference btw conditions 

easy if congruent- color on same side as hand you need to lift in response to a color- difficult if incongruent 


What can improve executive functioning?  


Describe individual differences in EF.

exercise; mindfulness meditation- related to cognitive and emotional flexibility 

some people say bilingualism helps to counteract loss of exec control in old age (debatable-Bialystok)


individual differences: some genetic contribution, show developmental stability 

capacity is not only "how many" but "how efficient" at inclusion and exclusion (Vogel article)