Limits of Working Memory – Book Notes
The Overflowing Brain—Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory by Torkel Klingberg
- Working Memory is limited—7 items plus or minus 2
- Attention has two main types: controlled attention and stimulus driven;
- Another aspect of attention is arousal.Â When attention arousal is low, less ability on either attention type
- Multitasking—is constrained by working memory capacity, in addition to characteristics of the multiple tasks
- Most studies focus on two tasks at a time.
- In multitasking are we using parallelism or interrupts?
- Two locations in the brain are active when working memory is called in the prefrontal lobe, where executive decisions are made
- Another location is triggered by controlled attention, in the parietal
- Working memory capacity correlates highly with reading comprehension.
- The more info you can keep under focus, the more conclusions you can extract
- Why did working memory evolve? 40 thousand years ago
- Social group size, language
- Reading—not evolution-driven skill, only capability that is used that way now
- Language is in Broca’s area. Is there a analogous focus for reading?
- Difference bet. Darwin and Wallace evolutionary explanations? Wallace focused solely on adaptation
- Evolutionary psychology (Pinker) relies almost exclusively on adaptation, not sexual selection.
- Dopamine boost increases working memory about 10%
- That’s one-half the standard deviation of working memory distribution among people
- ADHD might be related to deficiencies in working memory
- Working memory can be extended by training. Requires mental exercise that strains your ability, just as in muscle strengthening
- Flynn Effect. IQ growing about 3 points/decade. Could be due to increased info flow the modern culture demands of us, i.e. training our working memories to grow.
Diagram of working memory and long-term memory by Blacktc – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77537973