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Memory

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Brain and Language 71, 46–51 (2000) doi:10.1006/brln.1999.2209, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on

Working Memory, Long-Term Memory, and Language Processing: Issues and Future Directions
Fabienne Collette, Martial Van der Linden, and Martine Poncelet
` ` Neuropsychology Unit, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium

Working memory refers to a limited capacity system responsible for the temporary storage and processing of information while cognitive tasks are performed. The multi component model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974; Baddeley, 1986) represents the most extensively investigated and the best articulated theoretical account of working memory. It consists of a modality-free controlling central executive which is aided by two slave systems ensuring temporary maintenance of verbal and visuospatial information: the phonological loop (composed of a phonological store and an articulatory rehearsal system) and the visuospatial sketchpad. This model has unquestionably contributed to a better understanding of the part played by working memory in various domains of cognition (for a review, see Logie, 1993). In particular, numerous findings suggest that working memory (especially the phonological loop and the central executive components) makes significant contributions to some aspects of language processing, namely, sentence comprehension, speech production, vocabulary acquisition, and reading (see Baddeley, Gathercole, & Papagno, 1998; Van der Linden, & Poncelet, 1998; Van der Linden, Hupet, Feyereisen, et al., 1999). However, some aspects of Baddeley’s working memory model have recently been questioned, especially the relationships between working memory and long-term memory (see Van der Linden, 1998). According to Baddeley (1996), working memory is viewed as a gateway between sensory input and long-term memory. In particular, working memory is considered to be closely involved in the learning of novel information. In this...

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