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central executive

in the model of working memory proposed in 1974 by British cognitive psychologists Alan D. Baddeley (1934–  ) and Graham J. Hitch (1946–  ), a component that manages the activities of the phonological loop and visuospatial sketchpad. In coordinating the numerous processes of working memory, the central executive thus performs such varied functions as manipulating material held within the loop and sketchpad, focusing attention on and switching attention between different tasks, dividing attention between simultaneous tasks, and initiating long-term memory encoding and retrieval. Despite its crucial role, however, the central executive is of limited capacity and does not have any storage ability of its own. Its exact structure and operation have yet to be established and remain the focus of much current research.

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Psychology term of the day

June 16th 2024



abbreviation for Tay–Sachs disease.