The Working Memory Model. Evidence to support. AQA Specification. Learning Objectives. To outline the features of the working memory model. To describe research evidence to support the existence of components in the working memory model. .
The Working Memory Model
Evidence to support
The researchers used Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to identify which parts of the brain were most active when participants took part in either single or dual tasks. The single task condition required participants to complete one task after another. The dual task condition required each participant to perform two tasks at the same time. The findings indicated that the same brain areas were active during both conditions, but there was significantly more activation in the dual task condition. This increased brain activity reflects increased attentional demands when participants took part in the dual task condition.
This research found that people cope better with short words than long words in working memory (STM). Participants were asked to recall sets of five words immediately in the correct order. It was found that participant’s ability to do this was better with short words than with long words; this is called the ‘word-length effect.’ The research suggests that the capacity of the phonological loop is determined by the time it takes to say the words rather than the number of items. This makes it hard to remember a list of long words such as ‘association’ and ‘representative’ compared to shorter words like ‘harm’ and ‘twice.’ The longer words can’t be rehearsed on the phonological loop because they do not fit.
However, the word- length effect disappears if a person is give an articulatory suppression task e.g. if you are asked to say ‘the thethe’ while reading the words. This repetitive task ties up the articulatory process removing the advantage of rehearsal and thus the word-length effect disappears. This is evidence of the articulatory process.
Participants were given a visual tracking task (they had to track a moving light with a pointer). At the same time they were given one of two tasks: task 1 was an imagery task in which participants had to imagine the block capital letter ‘F’ and describe all of the angles on the letter F. Task 2 was to perform a verbal task. Participants found task 1 very difficult; they had to track the spot of light and accurately classify the angles in the letter imagery ask. However they were perfectly capable of carrying out the tracking task in conjunction with a verbal task. This suggests that the tracking and letter imagery tasks were competing for the limited resources of the visuo-spatial sketchpad whereas the tracking and verbal task were using two separate components of working memory; the visuo-spatial sketchpad and phonological loop.
Participants were shown words and then asked for immediate recall. The findings indicate that performance was much better for sentences (related words) than for unrelated words. This supports the idea of an immediate memory store for items that are neither visual nor phonological and that draw on long-term memory (the link to related words).
complete understanding central executive
articulatory loop performance verbal task subvocally working memory moving spot of lightword-length effect storage and processes