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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: phonological processing(1) phonological assembly(1) articulatory suppression task(1) phonological loop(3) dual-task paradigm(1) central executive(2) working memory(5) visual working memory(2) spatial working memory(2) visuospatial sketch pad(2) episodic buffer(1) auditory working memory(2) rehearsal loop(1)


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