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Chapter 4. Working Memory. Introduction. working memory short-term memory long-term memory. The Classic Research on Working Memory. George Miller's "Magical Number Seven" suggested that people can remember about seven items (give or take two) chunk as memory unit

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Working Memory

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Chapter 4

Working Memory


Introduction

working memory

short-term memory

long-term memory

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Classic Research on Working Memory

  • George Miller's "Magical Number Seven"

    suggested that people can remember about seven items (give or take two)

    chunk as memory unit

    proposed that people engage in internal mental processes in order to convert stimuli into a manageable number of chunks

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Classic Research on Working Memory

  • Other Early Research on Short-Term-Memory Capacity

    The Brown/Peterson & Peterson Technique

    • material held in memory for less than a minute is frequently forgotten

    • remember three items; count backwards by threes

    • rehearsal

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


Brown/Peterson & Peterson—Typical Results

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Classic Research on Working Memory

  • Other Early Research on Short-Term-Memory Capacity

    The Recency Effect

    • serial position effect

    • recency effect

    • primacy effect

    • used to measure the size of short-term memory

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


Serial Position Effect

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Classic Research on Working Memory

  • Atkinson and Shiffrin's Model

    control processes

  • Other Factors Affecting Working Memory's Capacity

    Pronunciation Time

    • short names vs. long names

    • numbers in different languages

    • acoustic properties of stimuli

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


Pronunciation Rate & Memory Span

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Classic Research on Working Memory

  • Other Factors Affecting Working Memory's Capacity (continued)

    Semantic Similarity of the Items in Working Memory

    • semantics

    • Wickens and colleagues (1976)

      • proactive interference (PI)

      • release from proactive interference

      • Brown/Peterson & Peterson task varying semantic similarity on Trial 4

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


Release from Proactive Interference

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

Alan Baddeley & Graham Hitch (1974); Baddeley (2000, 2001, 2006)

What does short-term memory accomplish for our cognitive processes?

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


Baddeley’s Model of Working Memory

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • working-memory approach—our immediate memory is a multipart system that temporarily holds and manipulates information as we perform cognitive tasks

    • central executive

    • visuospatial sketchpad

    • episodic buffer

    • phonological loop

  • emphasis on active manipulation of information in working memory

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • Evidence for Components with Independent Capacities

    Working memory is not unitary

    • Baddeley & Hitch (1974)

      • random numbers and spatial reasoning task

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • In Depth: Phonological Loop

    • phonological loop—processes a limited number of sounds for a short period of time

    • subvocalization

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • In Depth: Phonological Loop

    Research on Acoustic Confusions

    • acoustic confusions

    • Similar sounding items are more difficult to recall

      • B D P T V C

      • K M F Q Z L

    • Conrad & Hull (1964)

      • list of letters, presented visually

    • lists of words

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • In Depth: Phonological Loop

    Other Uses for the Phonological Loop

    • counting

    • reading

    • acquiring new vocabulary

    • learning foreign language

    • mathematical calculations

    • problem-solving tasks

    • complex task instructions

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

Neuroscience Research on the Phonological Loop

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • Visuospatial Sketchpad

    • visuospatial sketchpad—processes both visual and spatial information

      • store appearance and relative position

      • store visual information encoded from verbal stimuli

    • limited capacity

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • Visuospatial Sketchpad

    • Research on the Visuospatial Sketchpad

      • performing two visuospatial tasks simultaneously

      • no standardized set of visual stimuli

      • tendency to provide names for visual stimuli, thus using phonological loop instead

      • Brandimonte and colleagues (1992)—say "la la la" while looking at complex visual stimulus

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • Visuospatial Sketchpad

    Other Uses for the Visuospatial Sketchpad

    • engineering

    • art

    • architecture

    • retaining image of a scene

    • finding your way from one location to another

    • videogames, jigsaw puzzles, mazes

    • television

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

Neuroscience Research on the Visuospatial Sketchpad

  • Parietal and frontal areas are active during mental rotation

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • Central Executive

    • central executive—integrates information from the phonological loop, the visuospatial sketchpad, the episodic buffer and from long-term memory

  • Characteristics of the Central Executive

    • plans and coordinates, but does not store information

    • executive supervisor

    • decides which issues deserve attention

    • selects a strategy

    • limited capacity to perform simultaneous tasks

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • Central Executive

    The Central Executive and Daydreaming

    • Teasdale and colleagues (1995)

      • random-number generation task

      • report thoughts

        Neuroscience Research on the Central Executive

    • frontal lobe

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • Episodic Buffer

    • episodic buffer—temporary storehouse where we can gather and combine information from the phonological loop, the visuospatial sketchpad, and long-term memory

    • integrates information from different modalities

    • limited

    • temporary

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • Individual Differences: Major Depression and Working Memory

    Working memory performance is related to:

    • overall intelligence and grades in school

    • verbal fluency, reading comprehension, reasoning ability, note-taking skills

    • reading ability

    • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


The Working-Memory Approach

  • Individual Differences: Major Depression and Working Memory

    Major depression

    Christopher and MacDonald (2005)

    • phonological loop

    • visuospatial sketchpad

    • central executive

      difficulty concentrating

      unwanted negative thoughts

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


Alterations in the Functional Anatomy of Working Memory in Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Data suggest the use of compensatory mental and neural strategies by subjects with ADHD in response to a disrupted ability to inhibit attention to nonrelevant stimuli and the use of internalized speech to guide behavior.

  • http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?Volume=157&page=278&journalID=13

Cognition 7e, Margaret MatlinChapter 4


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