We continue to summarize the research article of Camina and Guell on how ongoing research understands our memory. Next, they tackled working memory, a part of short-term memory.
“The term working memory refers to a brain system that provides temporary storage and manipulation of the information necessary for such complex cognitive tasks as language comprehension, learning and reasoning” (Baddeley, 1992).
Apparently, the distinction made between short-term in general and working memory specifically allows for the manipulation of the information. One way to describe it is that working memory holds onto information long enough to do something with it.
In 1974, Baddeley presented three parts of working memory and later added the fourth (episodic). One part, the executive, functions as the attention center. Two parts, represent verbal (buffer) and visual (sketchpad) memory. Episodic buffers integrate the verbal and memory. Later studies further developed this model:
Baddeley and Logie understand the central executive as the result of the integration of several processes: the ability to focus attention, the ability to divide attention between two or more tasks, and the ability to control long-term memory access (Baddeley et al., 1991; Logie et al., 2004; Baddeley, 2007).
While the visual working memory functions predominantly in the right hemisphere, some parts function in the left hemisphere. Language acquisition comes with the verbal (phonological) working memory.
It can be argued that the phonological buffer supports language acquisition by providing the ability to store new words, while they are consolidated into long-term memory (Baddeley et al., 1998).
“The loop is assumed to hold verbal and acoustic information using a temporary store and an articulatory rehearsal system, which clinical lesion studies, and subsequently neuroradiological studies, suggested are principally associated with Brodmann areas, 40 and 44, respectively” (Baddeley, 2000).
Episodic working memory apparently follows the lead of the executive, however, there is interaction between the verbal and visual working memory.
The episodic buffer is thus a temporary storage system capable of integrating information from different sources, likely controlled by the central executive. “The buffer is episodic in the sense that it holds episodes whereby information is integrated across space and potentially extended across time” (Baddeley, 2000).
Thankfully, these researchers have explored the depth and complexity of God’s creation to aid our understanding. Our purpose is to understand how a person is thinking to maximize learning. Nonetheless, without fully understanding one can rejoice in God’s creation. Further, we can pray for wisdom as we work with our families.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.