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The difference between working memory and short term memory




Working memory and short-term memory are two types of memory that are closely related, but they have some important differences.


Short-term memory refers to the ability to temporarily store and manipulate information for a short period of time, usually up to 30 seconds. It is a limited capacity system that can hold about 7 +/- 2 items at a time. Short-term memory is responsible for holding onto information while it is being actively processed, such as when we are trying to remember a phone number that we just heard.


Working memory, on the other hand, is a more complex system that not only stores information temporarily, but also actively processes and manipulates it. Working memory is responsible for tasks such as mental arithmetic, problem-solving, and comprehension of complex language. It is often described as the "mental workspace" where information is held, manipulated, and integrated with other information to achieve a specific goal.


In summary, short-term memory is a basic, temporary storage system for information, while working memory is a more advanced system that not only stores information temporarily but also actively processes and manipulates it to achieve a specific goal.

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