Nee and Jonides argue that short-term memory (STM) is not monolithic, but instead involves multiple processes with different characteristics.  There are frontal selection mechanisms (normally associated with attention), medial temporal binding mechanisms (associated with long-term memory) and synaptic plasticity.  As a result, STM involves a single representation that can be focused on, a set of active representations that focused can be switched to, and passive long-term memory representations with residual traces that can be easily activated.  The authors show how this model can explain many discrepancies across studies.

About the Author

The Miller Lab uses experimental and theoretical approaches to study the neural basis of the high-level cognitive functions that underlie complex goal-directed behavior.