Working memory

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Working memory is the ability to actively hold information in the mind needed to do complex tasks such as reasoning, comprehension and learning. Working memory tasks are those that require the goal-oriented active monitoring or manipulation of information or behaviors in the face of interfering processes and distractions. The cognitive processes involved include the executive and attention control of short-term memory which provide for the interim integration, processing, disposal, and retrieval of information. Working memory is a theoretical concept central both to cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

Theories exist both regarding the theoretical structure of working memory and the role of specific parts of the brain involved in working memory. Research identifies the frontal cortex, parietal cortex, anterior cingulate, and parts of the basal ganglia as crucial. The neural basis of working memory has been derived from lesion experiments in animals and functional imaging upon humans. A study at the University of Stirling found that people with good working memories tend to be happy and more successful in their lives. [1]

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