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Multiple theories of working memory are described in the chapters of this book and often these theories are viewed as being mutually incompatible, yet each is associated with a supporting body of empirical evidence. In this chapter, we argue that many of these differences reflect different research questions, different levels of explanation, differences in how participants perform their assigned tasks in different laboratories, rather than fundamental theoretical adversity. We describe a version of a multiple component working memory in which a range of specialised cognitive functions (or mental tools) act in concert, giving the impression, at a different level of explanation, of a unified cognitive system. We argue that more rapid and more substantial scientific progress on the understanding of the concept of working memory would be achieved through identifying the levels of explanation explored within each theoretical framework, and attempting to integrate theoretical frameworks rather than perpetuating debate with no clear resolution in sight.
|Title of host publication||Working Memory|
|Subtitle of host publication||The State of the Science|
|Editors||Robert Logie, Valerie Camos, Nelson Cowan|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||41|
|Publication status||Published - 12 Nov 2020|
- integrating theory
- multiple components
- levels of explanation
- scientific progress
- working memory
Logie, R., Camos, V. & Cowan, N., 12 Nov 2020, Working Memory: The state of the science. Logie, R., Camos, V. & Cowan, N. (eds.). Oxford University Press, p. 1-9 9 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter