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Brain has two slots for working memory

Mental version of RAM has an independent module in each hemisphere

3:48pm, June 20, 2011

Like side-by-side computer RAM cards, the left and the right hemispheres of the brain store information separately, a new study finds. The results help explain why people can remember only a handful of objects at one time, and suggest that people may be able to maximize their cognitive power by delivering information in equal doses to both sides of the brain, researchers suggest online the week of June 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

On average, people can hold about four things in their working memory at once, such as the location of four cards in a game of Concentration. Though many studies have linked this memory capacity to intelligence, scientists still don’t completely understand how the brain reaches this limit.

“Why can’t you think about 100 things simultaneously, or 50 things simultaneously? Why only four?” says study coauthor Earl Miller of MIT. “If we understand something about that, we&rs

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