Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Put Working Memory to Work in Learning

Working memory involves the conscious processing and managing of information required to carry out complex cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning, and comprehension. It has been described as the brain's conductor.

Memory has long been viewed as a key aspect of learning, but as the emphasis in educational standards has shifted away from rote memorization and toward the knowledge and skills needed to process new information, working memory is increasingly taking center stage.

There is an explosion of research today with the aim of understanding how this important function works and how to enhance it. However, the term working memory was first used more than 50 years ago to describe the role of recall in planning and carrying out behavior.

In the 1970s and '80s, British psychologist Alan Baddeley and colleagues developed a model of working memory that brings together how the brain accepts sensory input, processes both visual-spatial and verbal data, and accesses long-term memory; and how all of that input is processed by a function they referred to as central executive.

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