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Research Article

Investigating the episodic buffer


Alan Baddeley ,

Department of Psychology, University of York, GB
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Richard J Allen,

Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, GB
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Graham J Hitch

Department of Psychology, University of York, GB
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A brief account is presented of the three-component working memory model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch. This is followed by an account of some of the problems it encountered in explaining how information from different subsystems with different codes could be combined, and how it was capable of communicating with long-term memory. In order to account for these, a fourth component was proposed, the episodic buffer. This was assumed to be a multidimensional store of limited capacity that can be accessed through conscious awareness. In an attempt to test and develop the concept, a series of experiments have explored the role of working memory in the binding of visual features into objects and verbal sequences into remembered sentences. The experiments use a dual task paradigm to investigate the role of the various subcomponents of working memory in binding. In contrast to our initial assumption, the episodic buffer appears to be a passive store, capable of storing bound features and making them available to conscious awareness, but not itself responsible for the process of binding.
How to Cite: Baddeley, A., Allen, R.J. and Hitch, G.J., 2010. Investigating the episodic buffer. Psychologica Belgica, 50(3-4), pp.223–243. DOI:
Published on 01 Oct 2010.
Peer Reviewed


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