chapter  1
Thinking in Working Memory
WithKenneth J. Gilhooly, Robert H. Logie
Pages 4

Thinking and memory are inextricably linked. However a “divide-andrule” approach has led cognitive psychologists to study these two areas in relative isolation. The present volume aims to break down the scientific divisions and foster scientific integration in the connections between these two core functions of cognition. We define thinking broadly as mentally driven change in current representations. The processes involved in such change would include application of logical rules, heuristics, strategies typically aimed at solving problems, making decisions, planning, and comprehension of complex material. Memory involves the encoding, retention, and retrieval of information, and the retention may be temporary or in a long-term knowledge base. Thinking cannot occur in a vacuum; it relies on the long-term knowledge base and a temporary workspace. Each chapter in this volume addresses different aspects of the interaction between thinking and differing conceptions of the mental temporary workspace known as working memory. The chapters by Gilhooly, Phillips and Forshaw, Della Sala and Logie, and Saariluoma espouse the multiple-component view of working memory in which different task demands are met by differing, specialised workingmemory components (Baddeley, 1986). Each component then draws on relevant information in the long-term knowledge base. Engle sits astride the multiple-component view of working memory and the dominant North American “modal model” of a single flexible resource for differing forms of processing and storage. Both Halford, and Ericsson and Delaney focus on the development of knowledge structures. In the case of Halford these knowledge structures incorporate a form of “conceptual chunking”, which develops as children grow to maturity, and enhances the efficiency with which working memory can operate. Ericsson and Delaney discuss how the development of expert knowledge in adults permits ease of access to knowledge within the domains of expertise.