introduced the multicomponent model of working memory.
The theory proposed a model containing three components: the central executive, the phonological loop, and the visuospatial sketchpad with the central executive functioning as a control center of sorts, directing info between the phonological and visuospatial components.
Most theorists today use the concept of working memory to replace or include the older concept of short-term memory, marking a stronger emphasis on the notion of manipulating information rather than mere maintenance.
The earliest mention of experiments on the neural basis of working memory can be traced back to more than 100 years ago, when Hitzig and Ferrier described ablation experiments of the prefrontal cortex (PFC); they concluded that the frontal cortex was important for cognitive rather than sensory processes.
Working memory is often used synonymously with short-term memory, but some theorists consider the two forms of memory distinct, assuming that working memory allows for the manipulation of stored information, whereas short-term memory only refers to the short-term storage of information.
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used the term to describe their "short-term store".
The first consists of long-term memory representations that are activated.
There can be many of these—there is theoretically no limit to the activation of representations in long-term memory. The focus is regarded as having a limited capacity and holds up to four of the activated representations.
The sketchpad can be further broken down into a visual subsystem (dealing with such phenomena as shape, colour, and texture), and a spatial subsystem (dealing with location).
In 2000, Baddeley extended the model by adding a fourth component, the episodic buffer, which holds representations that integrate phonological, visual, and spatial information, and possibly information not covered by the slave systems (e.g., semantic information, musical information).