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What is working memory?

Working memory is the system where we manage the information that we use to interact with our environment. It allows us to make immediate decisions or structure speech. Continually we are making use of working memory in order to relate external and internal stimuli with future actions that depend on them.

The main functions of working memory are the retention of information, the reinforcement of new learning, the momentary understanding of the environment, the formulation of immediate goals and the resolution of problems.

People with a higher capacity of working memory obtain higher scores in intelligence tests, and for this reason it is thought to be intimately related to general cognitive abilities in humans.

*The first researcher to study working memory was William James (1890), which he named primary memory. The term working memory was first used in 1976 by Alan Baddeley, in order to define the temporal memory that we use to carry out certain tasks and solve specific problems.

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