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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Postgraduate Course: Working Memory (PSYL11079)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryWorking memory refers to the cluster of processes engaged while thinking: retrieving information already learned, attending to information in the environment, and using this information in the service of some goal. Theories of working memory describing how these functions relate to each other will be covered, drawing upon empirical evidence from cognitive experiments, typical and abnormal neural functioning, and development from childhood to adulthood.
Course description Schedule of Topics:
Week 1: What is working memory and why does it matter?
Week 2: Working memory limits
Week 3: Activation and forgetting
Week 4: Neuroscience of working memory
Week 5: Variability in working memory in healthy populations
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 1 (Sem 1)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 88 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 3000-word essay

Assessment Submission Deadline: Thursday 5th November, 12 noon
Return Date: 27th November
Feedback Comments provided on submitted assessments and during tutorial sessions.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student 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 WM
  3. reason about how working memory theory can predict everyday cognitive functioning
Reading List
A selection of the readings covered in this course:
Alloway, T. P., Gathercole, S. E., & Pickering, S. J. (2006). Verbal and visuospatial short-term and working memory in children: Are they separable? Child Development, 77, 1698┐1716.

Baddeley, A. (2012). Working memory: Theories, models, and controversies. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 1┐29.

Barrouillet, P., Portrat, S., & Camos, V. (2011). On the law relating processing to storage in working memory. Psychological Review, 118, 175┐192.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 139, 117┐137.

Cowan, N. (2001). The magical number 4 in short-term memory: A reconsideration of mental storage capacity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24, 87┐185.

Cowan, N., Morey, C. C., AuBuchon, A. M., Zwilling, C. E., & Gilchrist, A. L. (2010). Seven-year-olds allocate attention like adults unless working memory is overloaded. Developmental Science, 13, 120┐133.

D┐Esposito, M., & Postle, B. R. (2015). The cognitive neuroscience of working memory. Annual Review of Psychology, 66, 115┐142. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-010814-015031

Dewar, M., Brown, G. D. A., & Della Sala, S. (2011). Restoring primacy in amnesic free recall: Evidence for the recency theory of primacy. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 28, 386┐396.

Fukuda, K., & Vogel, E. K. (2009). Human variation in overriding attentional capture. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 8726┐8733.

Grenfell-Essam, R., Ward, G., & Tan, L. (2013). The role of rehearsal on the output order of immediate free recall of short and long lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 39, 317┐347.

Johnson, W., Logie, R. H., & Brockmole, J. R. (2010). Working memory tasks differ in factor structure across age cohorts: Implications for dedifferentiation. Intelligence, 38, 513┐528.

Morey, C., Morey, R., van der Reijden, M., & Holweg, M. (2013). Asymmetric cross-domain interference between two working memory tasks: Implications for models of working memory.
Journal of Memory and Language, 69, 324┐348.

Oberauer, K. (2013). The focus of attention in working memory-from metaphors to mechanisms. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 673. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00673

Unsworth, N., & Engle, R. W. (2007). The nature of individual differences in working memory capacity: Active maintenance in primary memory and controlled search from secondary memory. Psychological Review, 114, 104┐132.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop their writing and discussion skills through this course. During tutorials, they will be practicing communication and argumentation skills, which will transfer to any professional setting in which effective communication and persuasion is important.
Additional Class Delivery Information Attend all lectures and tutorials as scheduled
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Candice Morey
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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