A meaty post on Reworking Working Memory at Developing Intelligence.Â Not surprisingly, the division between short-term (“working”) memory and long-term memory apparently isn’t as neat as many “how to train” articles imply.
One of those “hadn’t-thought-about-that” implications: one function of working memory is to actively maintain important information in the face of interference.Â As I read that, working memory in a sense is trying to concentrate on what’s important even as new information streams in.
- A primary memory system to actively maintain information, operating with a small but dynamic capacity, and
- A secondary memory system to store items displaced from primary memory, along with context to use as a retrieval cue
Developing Intelligence’s Chris ChathamÂ says that the primary and secondard aspects of working memory appear to be independent factors affecting working memory as a whole.
…As I went from one article to another, I came across a suggestion that people with lesser working-memory capacity may do more poorly at sorting out key aspects and thus store more information in long-term memory than people with a higher working-memory capacity.Â Presumably the latter group stores the key retrieval information.Â Until I trip over that link again, though, “I recall reading this” will have to do.