Working memory is a cognitive system providing flexible temporary storage of information that is vital for everyday cognitive activities such as learning new words, following instructions, and planning actions. Impairments in working memory in childhood are common and are closely associated with a range of learning problems including attention, language and reading difficulties. They are also present in many diseases and disorders of adulthood, including cardiovascular disease.
The aims of our research are:
- to understand the causes of working memory problems both in children and in older individuals, by investigating both the underlying cognitive processes and the brain systems that support them, and
- to explore the potential of therapeutic techniques including intensive cognitive training to overcome the everyday cognitive problems found in these and other populations with memory problems.
Our research builds on partnerships with professional groups including teachers, educational psychologists, neuropsychologists and clinical psychologists designed to improve the diagnosis and support for individuals with working memory and associated cognitive difficulties. Our research is conducted both in schools and in the Child Development Facility at the Unit.