The Evolution of Working Memory
Carruthers (Peter)
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110 (2013), 10371-10378
Paper - Abstract

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Author's Abstract

  1. Working memory (WM) is fundamental to many aspects of human life, including learning, speech and text comprehension, prospection and future planning, and explicit “system 2” forms of reasoning, as well as overlapping heavily with fluid general intelligence.
  2. WM has been intensively studied for many decades, and there is a growing consensus about its nature, its components, and its signature limits.
  3. Remarkably, given its central importance in human life, there has been very little comparative investigation of WM abilities across species. Consequently, much remains unknown about the evolution of this important human capacity.
  4. Some questions can be tentatively answered from the existing comparative literature. Even studies that were not intended to do so can nonetheless shed light on the WM capacities of nonhuman animals. However, many questions remain.


See Carruthers - The Evolution of Working Memory.

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