Working Memory (PSYL10117)

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Working Memory (PSYL10117)

Working memory refers to the cluster of processes engaged while thinking: retrieving information already learned, attending to information in the environment, and using information in the service of some goal. Theories of working memory describing how these functions relate to each other will be considered, drawing upon empirical evidence from cognitive experiments, typical and abnormal neural functioning, and development from childhood to adulthood.

Aim: To acquire a good understanding of the topic of working memory and its place within psychological science. We will consider the construct of working memory, and how it differs from related constructs like sensory memory, long-term memory, and attention. Empirical findings that a comprehensive theory of working memory must be able to explain will be described and models designed to encompass these findings will be evaluated.

Tuesdays 09:00 - 10:50
Semester 1, Block 1
7 George Square, Room S.1
What is working memory and why does it matter?
7 George Square, Room S.1
18/09/2018 - 9:00am to 10:50am
Working memory limits
7 George Square, Room S.1
25/09/2018 - 9:00am to 10:50am
Time, knowledge, and variability in healthy populations
7 George Square, Room S.1
02/10/2018 - 9:00am to 10:50am
Development of working memory across the lifespan
7 George Square, Room S.1
09/10/2018 - 9:00am to 10:50am
Neuroscience and neuropsychology of working memory
7 George Square, Room S.1
16/10/2018 - 9:00am to 10:50am
Learning Outcomes: 

After the course, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of current working memory theory, including the ability to critically evaluate evidence favouring various theories

2. Demonstrate understanding of the methods used to measure working memory

3. Reason about how working memory theory can predict cognitive functioning in daily life


Indicative Reading List:

These references provide important reading material for the course. Additional references will be provided for each lecture during the course. Note that the assessment will require knowledge that has been learned from background reading as well as from the lectures.

Camos, V. (2017). Domain-specific versus domain-general maintenance in working memory: Reconciliation within the Time-Based Resource Sharing Model. In B.H. Ross (Ed.) The Psychology of Learning and Motivation, vol 67, 135-171. (Note only available as a printed copy for reference in Psychology Library)

*Cowan, N. (2017). The many faces of working memory and short-term storage. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 24, 1158-1170. DOI 10.3758/s13423-016-1191-6

*Logie, R. H. (2011). The functional organization and capacity limits of working memory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 240-245

*Logie, R.H. (2016). Retiring the Central Executive.  Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69, 2093–2109. DOI 10.1080/17470218.2015.1136657

*Norris, D. (2017). Short-term memory and long-term memory are still different. Psychological Bulletin, 143(9), 992-1009.


*These are all available in electronic journals available through the Library pages after logging on to MyED. Go to library homepage and scroll to the bottom, the select E-Journals A-Z title list.

Additional Information: 


20% essay (maximum length 1000 words). Complete one written essay (maximum length 1000 words) based on a prompt that will be made available about two weeks in advance. Feedback will be provided to help students better prepare for their examination.

80% examination (Dec diet).

An electronic copy must be submitted through an own work declaration confirmation form and Turnitin link in Learn by the deadline. The electronic submission allows us to check for plagiarism and word count.

The submission deadline must be observed. Failure to comply with the deadline without good reason will incur mark penalties as follows:

•           Up to 7 calender days, 5 marks per calender day will be deducted

•           More than 7 calender days late a mark of zero will be given