Working Memory: A Need for Increased Awareness and Understanding Among Forensic Mental Health and Criminal Justice Professionals

Jerrod Brown


Working memory can be defined as the ability to temporarily store information while this information is being actively processed. Working memory requires individuals to exhibit attentional control while managing and manipulating relevant information across the span of a few seconds. The capacity to perform this executive function is critical in everyday tasks such as linguistic comprehension, cognitive reasoning, problem solving, decision making, and learning in general. Common among individuals with learning (e.g., dyslexia) and behavioral (e.g., ADHD) disorders, deficits in working memory vary on an individual basis. When present, working memory deficits often mean the individual can temporarily store and manipulate fewer pieces of information, resulting in a limited capacity to successfully complete complicated tasks. A primary consequence of working memory deficits is the temporary or permanent loss of information.

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[JLE] ISSN 2161-0231 (Online)

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