Slave systems in verbal short-term memory

David Caplan*, Gloria Waters, David Howard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The model of performance in short-termmemory (STM) tasks that has been most influential in cognitive neuropsychological work on deficits of STM is the “working memory” model mainly associated with the work of Alan Baddeley and his colleagues. Aim: This paper reviews the model.We examine the development of this theory in studies that account for STM performances in normal (non-brain-damaged) individuals, and then review the application of this theory to neuropsychological cases and specifications, modifications, and extensions of the theory that have been suggested on the basis of these cases. Our approach is to identify the major phenomena that have been discussed and to examine selected papers dealing with those phenomena in some detail. Main Contribution: The main contribution is a review of the WM model that includes both normative and neuropsychological data. Conclusions: We conclude that the WM model has many inconsistencies and empirical inadequacies, and that cognitive neuropsychologists might benefit from considering other models when they attempt to describe and explain patients’ performances on STM tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA279
Pages (from-to)279-316
Number of pages38
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Aphasia
  • Aphasiology
  • Brain
  • Language
  • Neuropsychology
  • Psychosocial


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