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Mem Cognit. 2001 Jan;29(1):1-9.

Distinguishing short-term memory from working memory.

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  • 1University of Maryland, College Park, USA.


The aim of the present research was to determine whether short-term memory and working memory could be distinguished. In two studies, 7- to 13-year-olds (N = 155, N = 132) were administered tasks thought to assess short-term memory as well as tasks thought to assess working memory. Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses distinguished short-term memory tasks from working memory tasks. In addition, performance on working memory tasks was related to word decoding skill but performance on short-term memory tasks was not. Finally, performance on both short-term memory and working memory tasks were associated with age-related increases in processing speed. Results are discussed in relation to models of short-term and working memory.

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