Here you can find the abstracts for proposals I have made for a PhD. If you are a supervisor that is interested and aware of potential funding sources please contact me at or the contact form.


Understanding the Limitations of Working Memory and the Role of Attention Using Games


Working Memory (WM) is a key aspect of cognition, crucial for daily life, and enables decision making, learning and understanding (D’Esposito & Postle, 2015). Recent studies suggest that there may be distinct mechanisms underlying distraction filtering in WM during encoding (ED) and delay (DD) conditions (McNab & Dolan, 2014). Although this distinction may be crucial to understanding the decline of WM capacity with increasing age (Vogel et al., 2005), as well as WM impairment associated with psychiatric and neurological conditions, we know little about the role of attentional factors in explaining this dissociation. Consequently, the present proposal will use games to investigate how attentional factors, such as saliency of distractors, crossmodal processing, and sustained attention may contribute to WM performance under ED and DD conditions. The accessibility and appeal of online games can allow access to a large number of participants from a wide range of backgrounds. Furthermore, the use of games can improve the ecological validity of WM tasks (Washburn, 2003). The project will strive to further the understanding of how ED and DD impact on WM and attention, bringing potential improvements to cognitive assessment as well as interventions such as WM training.

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