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What is the working memory model?

This refers to Baddeley and Hitch's (1974) model of working memory which consists of several components. Information is gained from the senses and enters the model through input to the sensory memory. Attention causes information to move from sensory memory to the central executive. Without attention, information decays in sensory memory.

The central executive is responsible for monitoring and coordinating the other subsystems in memory. These subsystems consist of the visuo-spatial sketchpad and the phonological loop. The visuo-spatial sketchpad stores and processes visual/spatial information whilst the phonological loop does the same for spoken/written information. There are two further components of the phonological loop-the phonological store (which holds speech information briefly) and articulatory control processes (which rehearse verbal information).

Another subsystem was added to the model in 2000, the episodic buffer. This communicates between long-term memory and the central executive.

Information moves from the subsystems to long-term memory through encoding, and can move from long-term memory to the subsystems via retrieval.

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