Working memory is variously defined as a set of linked and interacting information processing components that maintain information in a short-term store (or retrieve information into that store) for the purpose of the active manipulation of the stored items. The purpose of the this Special Issue is to present data relevant to the question of the functional organization of working memory. In this Introduction we review the two models of working memory and suggest that some of the similarities may be more apparent than real. We further suggest that the two models describe different systems that are specialized for different kinds of stimuli and for different kinds of information processing.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.