working memory

noun

Definition of working memory

: memory that involves storing, focusing attention on, and manipulating information for a relatively short period of time (such as a few seconds) A simple activity involving working memory is the carry-over operation in mental arithmetic, which requires temporarily storing a string of numbers and holding the sum of one addition in mind while calculating the next.— Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic Your short-term memory might help you to remember what someone has just said to you, for example, but your working memory would allow you to recite it to them backwards or pick out the first letter of each word.— Jonathan K. Foster — compare long-term memory, short-term memory

Examples of working memory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As evening approaches, the brain’s frontal lobe activity decreases affecting focus, attention to detail and working memory, and emotional wellbeing tends to be less stable. Diane Bellcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 May 2022 Studies have shown that, compared with urban walking, walking in a woodland setting more dramatically lowers stress, increases positive mood, and enhances working memory. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 21 Apr. 2022 Working memory involves focusing attention on one task while holding other tasks in memory, so a poor working memory could result in errors, according to a NASA news release. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 14 Mar. 2022 In another study, our team looked at how hangovers influence executive functions (mental skills which are important for many aspects of our daily life, including working memory, flexible thinking and self control). Craig Gunn, CNN, 6 Mar. 2022 The visual working memory area of the brain, which is lodged in the prefrontal cortex region above the forehead, is definitely involved, Pexman said. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 8 Mar. 2022 Just focusing on a shortcoming means keeping things simple for the working memory. Fortune, 30 Dec. 2021 Other studies show that after only six weeks of regular exercise individuals have improved working memory and visuospatial processing. Brodie Ramin, Outside Online, 30 Aug. 2021 Additionally, experimental data has shown that a single brief exercise session improves working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility. Sian Beilock, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'working memory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of working memory

1980, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for working memory

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The first known use of working memory was in 1980

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Dictionary Entries Near working memory

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Statistics for working memory

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Working memory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/working%20memory. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for working memory

working memory

noun

Medical Definition of working memory

: memory that involves storing, focusing attention on, and manipulating information for a relatively short period of time (such as a few seconds) A simple activity involving working memory is the carry-over operation in mental arithmetic, which requires temporarily storing a string of numbers and holding the sum of one addition in mind while calculating the next.— Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic, Scientific American Your short-term memory might help you to remember what someone has just said to you, for example, but your working memory would allow you to recite it to them backwards or pick out the first letter of each word.— Jonathan K. Foster, New Scientist

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