Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
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Dynamical Origin of the Effective Storage Capacity in the Brain’s Working Memory

Christian Bick and Mikhail Rabinovich (2009)

Phys. Rev. Lett. 103:218101.  ( BibTeX export )

The capacity of working memory (WM), a short-term buffer for information in the brain, is limited. We suggest a model for sequential WM that is based upon winnerless competition amongst representations of available informational items. Analytical results for the underlying mathematical model relate WM capacity and relative lateral inhibition in the corresponding neural network. This implies an upper bound for WM capacity, which is, under reasonable neurobiological assumptions, close to the ‘‘magical number seven.’’