A Case study of a working memory deficit
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Working Memory is a complex cognitive function used to perform everyday tasks. A large variety of influential theories and models have set out a number of theoretical constructs. Baddeley and Hitch (1974) first set out the Multiple Component Model of Working Memory that forms the basis of the present study. The present study was a single case study comparing the Working Memory profile for a neuropsychological case (BI), a 65 year old man with nine healthy controls matched on a case by case basis to control for age, gender, handedness and IQ. The present study included five measures testing visuospatial memory, phonological memory and central executive abilities. Previously at an initial neuropsychological assessment, BI was suspected to have a verbal-auditory working memory deficit, in addition to a deficit of attention. Further assessment suggested specific working memory deficits, including a phonological coding deficit and decreased verbal memory span and evidence of a central executive deficit. The results of the present study are in contradiction with this most recent assessment of BI. The present study found no evidence to support the hypothesis that BI has a phonological loop deficit or central executive deficit. The results, however, do indicate that BI may have a visual attention deficit as shown by his impaired performance compared to controls, this supported BI’s initial neuropsychology assessment. A possible age effect in binding was also noted and this should be further investigated.
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