Baddeley’s Model of Working Memory and its three subsystem Phonological Loop, Episodic Buffer and Central Executive

Baddeley's Model of Working Memory and its three subsystem Phonological Loop, Episodic Buffer and Central Executive

Baddeley's Model of Working Memory, Working memory, Phonological memory, episodic memory, Central executive
img surce:University of Oxford

Baddeley Model of Working Memory| Working memory is a system that temporarily holds and manipulate information. Working memory compromises of four components and we called it as subsystems of working memory.  The central executive is the control centre of the working memory. Then subsystems of Central Executive are Phonological Loop, Episodic memory and Visual Sketchpad.

The subsystem of Working Memory: Episodic Buffer, Phonological Loop and Visual Sketchpad 

Central Executive

Information coming from the short term store or short term memory through the attentional processes in different modalities reach to the central executive of the working memory.

The activities of the central executive are to initiate, control a decision process. Central Executive can be thought of like a manager. It takes the information from the short term store and manages this information on to two sub store which is a phonological loop or the articulatory loop and the visual sketchpad.

It decides which information is attended to ears and which part of the data is sent to deal with. Look at the example here You are driving a car in the city, suddenly a speed breaker comes down, and you were unaware of it. Suddenly you applied the brake to prevent car’s damage and prevent an accident. Here central executive sent the signals to the brain and enforced it to take the instant actions for a particular problem.

Thanks to the Central Executive.

Phonological Loop or Articulatory Loop

The information which is verbal which is auditory is pushed on Phonological Loop or the Articulatory Loop.

The articulatory loop or the phonological loop will enable to hold information of spoken words for 1-2 seconds. Spoken works can directly process in the phonological loop while written words take time to prepare, first written words get converted to spoken words then they pass it on to the phonological loop.

It helps you to audit or to listen to sentences, language. Suppose you are sitting in the classroom and a psychology professor is teaching about the short term memory. Then central executive will help you to decide between putting your attention to the speech of professor, and the phonological loop will help you to encode the meaning during the lecture so that you can understand the concept well.

Episodic Buffer – It is the additional storage in the  Baddeley and Hitch’s Model of Working Memory. The episodic buffer acts as a ‘backup’ store of memory which communicates with both the components of working memory and the long-term memory.

img Source:Simply psychology

VisuoSpatial Sketchpad

The information which is visual, which requires a visual medium is pushed on to the Visuospatial Sketchpad. The visuospatial sketchpad works with both Visual and spatial information. It is known as from another term ‘inner eye‘.

It helps you to remember the layouts of your room. Your apartment, your city by displaying images in your mind from the long term memory.

If I ask specific questions like How many doors in your house? How many rooms in your home? How many people are in your college group?

You will able to answer all of these questions because they have processed in your visual senses through the Visuospatial Sketchpad.


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