Working Memory

       Working memory is one of the most used and accepted models in psychology today. Using this concept makes us see the short term memory from a different perspective. The key feature of the alternative view is the role of working memory. This model was presented by Baddeley and Hitch in 1974.

  Baddeley original suggested that working memory comprises three elements. The first is visuo-spatial sketchpad, which briefly holds some visual images. The second is a phonological loop, which briefly holds inner speech. The third element is a central executive, which both coordinates intentional activities and governs responses. The central executive is critical to working memory because it is the gating mechanism that decides what information to process further and how to process it.

      Recently the fourth element the episodic buffer has been added to working memory. The episodic buffer is a limited capacity system that is capable of binding information from the subsidiary systems and from long term memory into a unitary episodic representation.


  • Baddely – The episodic buffer in working memory. Trends in cognitive sciences- Vol. 4, No. 11, November 2000.

  • Dosher, B. A. (2003). Working memory. Encyclopedia of cognitive science (Vol. 4, pp. 569-577). 

See Also:

Ebbinghaus' experiment of memory

encoding storage and retrieval

sensory, short term and long term memory

Cognitive Revolution

Explicit vs implicit memory

the levels of processing model

The process of forgeting

the seven sins of memory