Working Memory, Thought, and Action

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Overview

Working Memory, Thought, and Action is the magnum opus of one of the most influential cognitive psychologists of the past fifty years.

Working memory is a temporary storage system that underpins our capacity for coherent thought. Some thirty years ago, Alan Baddeley (with Graham Hitch) proposed a model for working memory that has proved to be both valuable and influential in its application to practical problems. This book updates the theory, discussing both the evidence in its favour, and alternative approaches. In addition, it discusses the implications of the model for understanding social and emotional behaviour, concluding with an attempt to place working memory in a broader biological and philosophical context. Inside are chapters on the phonological loop, the visuo-spatial sketchpad, the central executive and the episodic buffer. There are also chapters on the relevance to working memory of studies of the recency effect, of work based on individual differences, and of neuroimaging research.

The broader implications of the concept of working memory are discussed in the chapters on social psychology, anxiety, depression, consciousness, and on the control of action. Finally, Baddeley discusses the relevance of a concept of working memory to the classic problems of consciousness and free will. This new volume from one of the pioneers in memory research is a major publication within the psychological literature.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Researchers who are looking for up-to-date research summaries will find the book rewarding. Those working in other fields, such as anxiety and depression, will find sufficient reason to pay attention to the role of working memory in these areas...In short, this is a book that deserves wide readership."--PsycCritiques

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198528012
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/20/2007
  • Series: Oxford Psychology Series , #45
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,178,790
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Baddeley succeeded Donald Broadbent as Director of the APU in Cambridge. Some 20 years later he moved to Bristol University. He is now at University of York where he has re-established his old collaboration with Graham Hitch. His interests are in human memory in general and working memory more specifically, and in combining basic and applied research. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, of the European Academy and is a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received the APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, the Aristotle Prize for contributions to European Psychology, and was awarded the CBE for contributions to the study of memory.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction and overview
2. Why do we need a phonological loop?
3. The phonological loop: challenges and growing points
4. Visuospatial short-term memory
5. Imagery and the visuospatial sketchpad
6. Recency retrieval and the constant ratio rule
7. Fractionating the central executive
8. Long-term memory and the episodic buffer
9. Exploring the episodic buffer
10. Individual differences in working memory
11. What limits working memory span
12. Neuroimaging working memory
13. Working memory and social behaviour
14. Working memory and emotion I: fear and craving
15. Working memory and emotion II: depression and the well-springs of action
16. Working memory and consciousness
17. Multilevel control of action
18. Working memory in context: life, the universe and everything

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