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      Working Memory: Theories, Models, and Controversies

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      Annual Review of Psychology
      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          I present an account of the origins and development of the multicomponent approach to working memory, making a distinction between the overall theoretical framework, which has remained relatively stable, and the attempts to build more specific models within this framework. I follow this with a brief discussion of alternative models and their relationship to the framework. I conclude with speculations on further developments and a comment on the value of attempting to apply models and theories beyond the laboratory studies on which they are typically based.

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          Most cited references77

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          Word length and the structure of short-term memory

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            The nature of individual differences in working memory capacity: active maintenance in primary memory and controlled search from secondary memory.

            Studies examining individual differences in working memory capacity have suggested that individuals with low working memory capacities demonstrate impaired performance on a variety of attention and memory tasks compared with individuals with high working memory capacities. This working memory limitation can be conceived of as arising from 2 components: a dynamic attention component (primary memory) and a probabilistic cue-dependent search component (secondary memory). This framework is used to examine previous individual differences studies of working memory capacity, and new evidence is examined on the basis of predictions of the framework to performance on immediate free recall. It is suggested that individual differences in working memory capacity are partially due to the ability to maintain information accessible in primary memory and the ability to search for information from secondary memory. ((c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).
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              Time constraints and resource sharing in adults' working memory spans.

              This article presents a new model that accounts for working memory spans in adults, the time-based resource-sharing model. The model assumes that both components (i.e., processing and maintenance) of the main working memory tasks require attention and that memory traces decay as soon as attention is switched away. Because memory retrievals are constrained by a central bottleneck and thus totally capture attention, it was predicted that the maintenance of the items to be recalled depends on both the number of memory retrievals required by the intervening treatment and the time allowed to perform them. This number of retrievals:time ratio determines the cognitive load of the processing component. The authors show in 7 experiments that working memory spans vary as a function of this cognitive load. ((c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Psychology
                Annu. Rev. Psychol.
                Annual Reviews
                0066-4308
                1545-2085
                January 10 2012
                January 10 2012
                : 63
                : 1
                : 1-29
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Psychology, University of York, York YO10 5DD, United Kingdom; email:
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100422
                21961947
                6024bb76-0143-4876-83d2-5b7006808fb0
                © 2012
                History

                Social policy & Welfare,Medicine,Psychology,Engineering,Public health,Life sciences
                Social policy & Welfare, Medicine, Psychology, Engineering, Public health, Life sciences

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