Cowan (U. Missouri) on Working Memory (Cog Sci Dec. 6)

c_thomas_wild at c_thomas_wild at
Wed Nov 1 18:24:31 EST 2000

Working memory is an aspect of the ADHD syndrome.

Some of the behavioral effects of caffeine in some people, not all, are:
increased alertness, energy, and ability to concentrate.

The June, 2000 issue of Reader's Digest has an article on "Memory"
which reports that caffeine, for some, is a memory booster:  if one is
engaged in a task that demands memorization, a cup of coffee or two
might help.

Attention Deficit Disorder:

The idea of working memory is also linked to some of the many
epilepsies as well as to different types of ADHD - ADD - Hyperactivity.

In article <Pine.SGI.3.95.1001030122316.8377J-
100000 at>,
  Stevan Harnad <harnad at> wrote:
>   You are invited to a talk co-sponsored by the Cognitive Sciences
>   Centre, Psychology Department (Cognitive Research Group) and
>   Department of Electronics and Computer Science (Intelligence,
>   Multimedia Research Group) at SOUTHAMPTON UNIVERSITY.
>         DATE:   Wednesday Dec 6th
>         TIME:   12:50
>         PLACE:  Shackleton Building Room 3095
>         Professor Nelson Cowan
>         Department of Psychology
>         University of Missouri
>         210 McAlester Hall Columbia
>         MO 65211 USA
>         CowanN at
>         Visiting Professor
>         Department of Experimental Psychology
>         University of Bristol
>       SUMMARY: "Working memory" is that small amount of information
>       that we can hold in mind at a particular moment, to be used in
>       understanding language and in solving problems of various sorts.
>       Three properties may be basic to the operation of working
>       (1) our capacity to focus attention, (2) how much information
>       be retrieved into the focus of our attention and (3) how long
>       information outside the focus of our attention can stay active.
>       will discuss how these three properties can be be measured and
>       how they change during childhood.
>   Cowan, N. (2001) The Magical Number 4 in Short-term Memory: A
>   Reconsideration of Mental Storage Capacity. Behavioral and Brain
>   Sciences 24 (1)
>   Miller, G.A. (1956). The magical number 7, plus or minus two: Some
>   limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological
>   Review, 63, 81-97.
> 	   NELSON COWAN (Ph.D. 1980, University of Wisconsin - Madison)
> 	   is Middlebush Professor of the Social Sciences, in the
> 	   Department of Psychology at the University of Missouri -
> 	   Columbia. He has written one book (Cowan, N., 1995,
> 	   Attention and memory: An integrated framework, Oxford
> 	   University Press) and edited another (1997, The development
> 	   of memory in childhood, Psychology Press), and has 100 other
> 	   publications on working memory, its development, and its
> 	   relation to attention. He is former Associate Editor of the
> 	   Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and
> 	   Cognition (1995-1999) and won the 1998 University of
> 	   Missouri Chancellor Award for Research and Creative
> 	   Activities.

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