Recent memory, or working memory, is the temporary storage of information that is used in managing cognitive tasks, like learning, reasoning, and comprehension.
Recent Memory Function
Recent memory is involved in the selection, initiation, and termination of information-processing functions, such as encoding, storing, and retrieving data. Recent memory is stored in the prefrontal cortex and used for immediate recall and then discarded after use. It can be measured by a memory span test, such as digit span, in which a participant repeats back a sequence of numbers. Miller (1956) proposed that the average memory span for a normal adult ranges from five to nine items.
Recent memory span can be increased through chunking, in which a group of numbers or words are linked together in a meaningful way. The proposed chunking capacity ranges from three to five, though the information itself and prior learning can influence an...
References and Readings
- Broadbent, D. E. (1971). The magical number seven after fifteen years. In A. Kennedy & A. Wilkens (Eds.), Studies in long-term memory. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Mandler, G. (1967). Organization in memory. In K. W. Spence & J. T. Spence (Eds.), The psychology of learning and motivation. San Diego: Academic.Google Scholar