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Alan Baddeley and Graham Hitch proposed a model of working memory in 1974, in an attempt to describe a more accurate model of short-term memory.

Baddeley & Hitch proposed their tripartite working memory model as an alternative to the short-term store in Atkinson & Shiffrin\\\'s multi-store memory model (1968). This model is later expanded upon by Baddeley and other co-workers and has become the dominant view in the field of working memory. However, alternative models are developing (see working memory) providing a different perspective on the working memory system.

The original model of Baddeley & Hitch was composed of three main components; the central executive which acts as supervisory system and controls the flow of information from and to its slave systems: the phonological loop and the visuo-spatial sketchpad. The slave systems are short-term storage systems dedicated to a content domain (verbal and visuo-spatial, respectively). In 2000 Baddeley added a third slave system to his model, the episodic buffer.

Baddeley & Hitch\\\'s argument for the distinction of two domain-specific slave systems in the older model was derived from experimental findings with dual-task paradigms. Performance of two simultaneous tasks requiring the use of two separate perceptual domains (i.e. a visual and a verbal task) is nearly as efficient as performance of the tasks individually. In contrast, when a person tries to carry out two tasks simultaneously that use the same perceptual domain, performance is less efficient than when performing the tasks individually.


Definition contributed by Anonymous

Constituent Assertions

  • phonological assembly is a kind of phonological processing
  • phonological loop is measured by the contrast of suppression - control (articulatory suppression effect) in the articulatory suppression task
  • central executive is measured by the contrast of dual minus control in the dual-task paradigm
  • central executive is a part of working memory
  • visual working memory is a kind of working memory
  • spatial working memory is a kind of working memory
  • visuospatial sketch pad is a part of spatial working memory
  • visuospatial sketch pad is a part of visual working memory
  • episodic buffer is a part of working memory
  • auditory working memory is a kind of working memory
  • phonological loop is a part of auditory working memory
  • phonological loop is a kind of rehearsal loop
REFERENCED TERMS: dual-task paradigm(1) phonological processing(1) visuospatial sketch pad(2) spatial working memory(2) visual working memory(2) phonological loop(3) working memory(5) central executive(2) rehearsal loop(1) articulatory suppression task(1) phonological assembly(1) episodic buffer(1) auditory working memory(2)


Working memory: theories, models, and controversies.
Baddeley A
Annual review of psychology (Annu Rev Psychol)
2012 Jan 10