This
article first speaks of Baddeley and Hitch’s three-component model of working
memory and how certain phenomena are not properly documented by their original
model. The article outlined these issues and presented a fourth model to be
added to support the original model. The episodic buffer was said proposition. The
article a good job highlighting the original’s strengths, such as the
phonetical loop, while also going into why we need the addition of the new
fourth component.  

            The first part of the article goes into the working
memory model and why it was initially proposed to begin with. Baddely and Hitch
saw errors in the short-term memory model originally typified by Arkinson and
Shiffrin. They saw issues concerning long-term memory and how in patients with
poor short-term memories, it was still normal. Thus, they proposed their three-part
model comprised of the central executive and its two slave systems. Their models’
best component was the phonological loop. This is mostly related to short-term
memory and recalling information, such as sequences.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

            The issues that were found in the working memory model
were tested with prose recall, rehearsal, and conscious awareness. In the prose
recall test, which is a test relied upon in many clinical tests, patients are using
chunking methods to remember 15-20 ideal units. Testing on patients show that
chunking may be relying on long-term memory as well as short-term. Even in
patients with memory issues, their ability for immediate recall exceeds that
ability that the phonetical loop can provide. They seem to activate their long-term
memory temporarily, as preserved immediate recall seems to require some memory
or the proper functioning of the central executive system. Subvocal rehearsal
is a skill we have as children and perform unconsciously when attempting to
recall a sequence. The phonological loop assumes storage and rehearsal are separate
but when not allowed to utilize rehearsal on a test, their results suffer a
great deal. The testing so far has shown that the visual and verbal slave systems
in the working memory model does account for a lot of data, evidence from
patients with short-term memory issues, suggest that they still utilize an area
of their mind that recalls on their long-term memories. This is where the
episodic buffer comes in to fill the gap left in the original working memory model.

            The episodic buffer is controlled by the central
executive and serves as an interface between systems that allows the working
memory to retrieve information from long-term memory. While being like Tulving’s
episodic memory model, the episodic buffer can still be utilized by patients
with impaired amnesia. The buffer is however limited in its capacity to
remember, as its multi-dimensional code cannot access every part of memory. This
changes the model of working memory to a multi-component one that does not
solely rely on activated consciousness. It is not without flaws, as it is hard
to separate from other systems. It can be hard to draw the line between the
other slave systems and even harder to do so when compared to episodic
long-term memory. To see the difference at all, extensive neuroimaging and
tests have to be ran on those rare patients with severe memory disabilities.
Much more testing needs to be done on memory before the buffer is perfected,
but for now, it remains a vital addition to the working memory model.

            I found this article to be very well written. I found the
addition to be huge in the working memory field, as it explains so much about
our working memories’ connection to our long-term memory. After seeing the abilities
of the episodic buffer, I cannot imagine a working memory model without it. The
multi-connection models make so much sense, as I never assumed memory was so
cut and clear. With how much more we need to learn, it is impossible to not
find flaws, but discoveries like this are huge steps in the right direction.