Commentary: Developing the Model of Working Memory

Richardson, John T. E. (1993). Commentary: Developing the Model of Working Memory. In: Davies, Graham M. and Logie, Robert H. eds. Memory in Everyday Life. Advances in Psychology, 100. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 219–230.



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This chapter presents a commentary on a study related to the developing the model of working memory. Logie has fulfilled a valuable and timely function in reviewing an extensive body of research on the theory of working memory, and in indicating at least in broad terms the kinds of everyday task to which the various components of the model might be said to make a contribution. He has summarized the function of working memory as that of helping people to keep track of recent events in time (the phonological loop) and space (the visuo-spatial sketchpad). This chapter discusses the process of the evolution of the model in the light of laboratory research and discusses the background that initiated the study of working memory in the first place—particularly the mechanisms underlying immediate memory. In Plans and the Structure of Behavior, Miller, Galanter, and Pribram talked of the need to posit '”some special state or place” in which activated plans could be held while they were being executed. With the development of two-component theories of human verbal memory during the 1960s, Atkinson and Shiffrin proposed that one component was a limited-capacity short-term store that acted as a working memory in the sense that it could deploy a number of control processes in various tasks such as learning, reasoning, and comprehension.

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