Posted by CheshireKat on November 22 2008 05:04 AM
Would someone like to expound on the difference between "working memory" and "short term memory" - jus'
Here are a website and an article that summarize short term memory (STM) vs. working memory (WM) (the website is a summary, the article is several pages of scientific study). The main difference is that STM is thought of more as a thing
that holds facts before they get filed into the "long term memory", where WM is thought of as a process by which your mind holds onto and processes immediate information.
For example, one test of WM that I was required to do for my LD exam was to repeat back sets of information. The psychologist would read me a list of both objects and numbers, such as
dog six seven chair twelve car
and then ask me to repeat the words back to her, in the order in which they appeared, objects first and then numbers. So the correct answer to that sequence would be
dog chair car six seven twelve
I was always able to repeat back the objects in proper order, but very rarely able to recall the numbers. From what I understand, many psychologists and neurologists believe that WM can be separated into different "areas" of WM - that is, you can have a good working memory when it comes to recalling words that you have heard or read, but a terrible time with numbers, and vice-versa.
This would explain why, even though WM is supposedly strongly connected to comprehension skills, a person with dyscalculia can have great linguistic skills with reading comprehension scores off the charts, and dismal number recall (as related to their WM with numbers).
In short (haha, as if I could possibly be brief), STM is a passive "storage unit" by which you can regurgitate information you have just received, where WM is a cognitive process that requires you not only to be able to store information short-term, but then manipulate it to come to an answer.