Working Memory, Thought, and Action
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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OUP Oxford (2007)
'Working Memory, Thought, and Action' is the magnum opus of one of the most influential cognitive psychologists of the past 50 years. This new volume on the model he created (with Graham Hitch) discusses the developments that have occurred within the model in the past twenty years, and places it within a broader context. Working memory is a temporary storage system that underpins our capacity for coherent thought. Some 30 years ago, Baddeley and Hitch proposed a way of thinking about 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 will doubtless emulate the success of its predecessor, and be a major publication within the psychological literature.
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