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Working Memory and Human Cognition
     

Working Memory and Human Cognition

by John T. E. Richardson, Randall W. Engle, Lynn Hasher, Robert H. Logie, Ellen R. Stoltzfus
 

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This new volume in the Counterpoints series compares and contrasts different conceptions of working memory, generally recognized as the human cognitive system responsible for temporary storage of information. The book includes proponents of several different views. Robert Logie discusses the theoretical and empirical utility of separating working memory into an

Overview

This new volume in the Counterpoints series compares and contrasts different conceptions of working memory, generally recognized as the human cognitive system responsible for temporary storage of information. The book includes proponents of several different views. Robert Logie discusses the theoretical and empirical utility of separating working memory into an articulatory loop, a phonological store, and a visuo-spatial sketchpad into visual and spatial subsystems. Patricia Carpenter provides evidence for a process view of working memory, arguing that both task-specific processing and general processing capabilities can account for the full range of working memory phenomena. She focuses on findings from reading comprehension and memory tasks suggesting that working memory is used to represent the set of skills and strategies necessary for complex tasks, while retaining residual capacity for use as a storage buffer. Lynn Hasher argues in favor of the new inhibitory model, with evidence drawn from the literature on aging and pathology that demonstrates parallels between memory disorders and normal memory functioning. Randall Engle addresses the issue of whether working memory resources are required for retrieval of information or whether that task is relatively automatic. Engle's empirical studies, in turn, bear directly on the positions of Carpenter, Hasher, and Logie. As interest in working memory is increasing at a rapid pace, an open discussion of the central issues involved is both useful and timely. This work serves this purpose for a wide audience of cognitive psychologists and their students.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Working Memory and Human Cognition gets my 'thumbs up'. . . . A major strength of the volume is its extensive coverage of working memory theories and research."—Contemporary Psychology

"The discussion focuses specifically on three ongoing debates, namely, whether working memory is a single-component or multiple-component system, whether working memory is structurally and functionally related to long-term memory, and whether working memory contains general or domain-specific resources. Overall, a good book for graduate students and upper-division undergraduate students, faculty, and researchers."—Choice

"This slim book manages to cover in five chapters several strikingly different conceptions of working memory (WM). Although the term is commonly used in discourse in the field assuming the reader knows what is meant, it is interesting to see how volatile the concept of WM actually is. For example, the book makes clear that there is a major disagreement over whether WM is structurally separate from long-term memory (LTM) or whether WM consists of a single general capacity or several distinct components. The authors, to their credit, highlight these points of disagreement for the reader. Different chapters represent various points of view, including both North American and European research traditions."—Lester Loschky in the American Journal of Psychology

"One of the benefits of Working Memory and Human Cognition is the theoretical and historical information available in each chapter. The authors present high-quality background information regarding their ideas of working memory, as well as a number of references to the research findings on which these ideas are based. . . . From a practical standpoint, this book will be of use to several audiences: clinicians, researchers, and students. . . . In summary, the authors of Working Memory and Human Cognition present a tremendous amount of information concerning the concept of working memory. Richardson accomplishes his goal of identifying the major issues and common themes related to working memory. However, the most valuable aspect of this book is the dynamic interplay of ideas that takes place as the authors articulate their thought processes in the development of an emerging reconceptualization of working memory."—Heather L. Christensen in the American Journal of Psychology

"The purpose of this book is to compare and contrast the different conceptions of working memory that have evolved over the last 20 years in the field of cognitive psychology. It is a clearly written, concise compilation of five chapters by some of the leading investigators in the area. It will prove to be a useful resource to those of us involved in research on the topic." - Christopher Randolph, Journal of International Neuropsychological Society, 2000

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195356489
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
05/16/1996
Series:
Counterpoints: Cognition, Memory, and Language
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
944 KB

Meet the Author

Brunel College

University of South Carolina

Duke University

University of Aberdeen

Kenyon College

Michigan State University

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