Articulatory Loop

The articulatory loop [AL] is one of two passive slave systems within Baddeley's (1986) tripartite model of working memory. The AL, responsible for storing speech based information, is comprised of two components. The first component is a phonological memory store which can hold traces of acoustic or speech based material. Material in this short term store lasts about two seconds unless it is maintained through the use of the second subcomponent, articulatory subvocal rehearsal. Prevention of articulatory rehearsal results in very rapid forgetting. Try this experiment with a friend. Present your friend with three consonants (e.g., C-X-Q) and ask them to recall the consonants after a 10 second delay. During the 10 second interval, prevent your friend from rehearsing the consonants by having them count 'backwards by threes' starting at 100. You will find that your friend's recall is significantly impaired! See Murdoch (1961) and Baddeley (1986) for a complete review.

See Also:

Working Memory | Visuospatial Sketchpad Central Executive


Baddeley, A. (1986). Working memory. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Murdock, B.B. Jr. (1961). The retention of individual items. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62, 618-625.

Submitted by Bonnie M. French Dictionary Home Page