cerveau-memoire travail fonctions cognitive

Working memory allows a person to have a mental workspace in order to maintain information for a limited period of time. During this time, our brain can manipulate and modify this information in order to create new information or find a solution to a problem.

What is working memory?

Working memory is the ability to perceive stimuli provided by the environment or the information available and to manipulate it immediately. Our brain is capable of storing a large amount of information, but the storage capacity is not infinite. For this reason, we forget some information.

Even if they are not important in the long term, some information is important in the immediate term. This is when we use working memory. For example, if you ask for directions to go somewhere, you need to remember the route that the person indicated to you until you reach your destination. Afterwards, you can forget this information.

Working memory also allows for the manipulation of information. Taking the previous example, while you are on your way, you need to adapt to your situation. For example, if the instruction was to turn right at the third light, once you have passed the first light, your information must change to “turn right at the second light.


Working memory disorders

Working memory disorders are very varied. They can occur in children with learning disabilities, or in adults and seniors as a result of pathologies.

Symptoms include difficulties in performing multiple tasks at the same time (dual-task), in solving step-by-step problems, or difficulty in following long or complex instructions. Moreover, the person may have difficulties with mental calculation, or in expressing abstract concepts.”

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Exercises to Improve and Train Working Memory

Training your working memory is possible. To improve this function, you can try organizing each activity into steps. This helps improve your organization and the ability to follow steps. In the beginning, you can write down the steps on a sheet to make sure you don’t forget anything.

Creating routines can also be helpful. In fact, a routine allows you to do certain activities at the same time every day. This has two effects. The first effect is to automate certain activities since they are done the same way multiple times. This automation allows you to use fewer attentional skills to accomplish it. Moreover, a routine helps you remember to do certain things because it’s integrated into your everyday life.”

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Our games for working on working memory

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  • The musical ear
  • Colormind
Mobil Scarlette SHop
  • The musical ear
  • Colormind
Clint shop En
  • The musical ear
  • Colormind

Working memory allows us to perform various tasks through several mechanisms.

  1. Processing Information Immediately

We often need to use important information to complete a task. Working memory enables us to process this information immediately and then erase it afterward. This allows us to still use the information while keeping in memory only the most important ones.”

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In this game, the player has to memorize the position of the cards and find the pairs. Here, working memory enables us to remember the position of the cards for the duration of the game. What’s more, we can manipulate the information, for example, by remembering the position of one card in relation to another.


2. Perform mental operations

Working memory enables us to modify and manipulate the information we need to use.

It enables us to make connections between the information we already possess, and to modify new information to make sense of it.



In this game, players have to solve mental calculations. To do this, you take the two digits and manipulate them to find the result. For example, you can separate the digits into tens and units to make the calculation simpler.


3. Manipulating information

The main feature of working memory is the ability to manipulate, and therefore change, information to suit our purposes.

We can take an image and imagine it from a different perspective, or we can imagine modifying an object. This function is very useful for understanding other people’s points of view, and for imagining the sides of objects we can’t see.

Snowball effect


In this game, the player must press an arrow to trigger a snowball effect that must reach all the other arrows. In this case, you have to imagine the trajectory of the ball and change your point of view according to the direction indicated by the arrow. Creating a mental image is essential for manipulating information.


4. Searching for a solution

Working memory is mainly used when we have to solve a problem with the information at hand.

To solve a problem, we analyze all the elements, try to create connections and manipulate them to find the best solution.

Crowded parking lot


In this game, the player has to move the cars to get the yellow car out of the parking lot. To do this, you need to gather all the information (car positions, orientation and free space). Then you have to manipulate this information to imagine the movements and find the right sequence to arrive at the solution.


Working memory is one type of memory, but there are other important types too. Indeed, during an activity, we use several cognitive functions and several types of memory.


A version for children aged 5 to 10

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A preventive version for seniors

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An easy-to-use version for seniors

Mobil Scarlette SHop


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