Research Topics by Category

Most of the research I report on fits into the broad category of research into aspects of memory and learning that are of practical interest, or have practical implications (some is chosen just because I find it interesting!). This covers a very wide territory. But over the many years I've been doing this, certain topics have accumulated a number of reports. I am in the process of aggregating these into Topic collections, and this is a category index to them.

Lifestyle factors that affect memory



Learning & memory problems

How memory & the brain works

Latest news

A study of younger and older adults indicates that memory search tends to decline with age because, with reduced cognitive control, seniors’ minds tend to ‘flit’ too quickly from one information cluster to another.

A survey of college students found that those who scored highest in multitasking ability were also least likely to multitask, while those who scored lowest were most likely to engage in it.

A new study confirms the role slow-wave sleep plays in consolidating memories, and reveals that one reason for older adults’ memory problems may be the quality of their sleep.

A review on the immediate effects of alcohol on sleep has found that alcohol shortens the time it takes to fall asleep, increases deep sleep, and reduces REM sleep.

Two small studies suggest that standard testing of concussed high school athletes might be insufficiently sensitive.

Gossipy content and informal language may lie behind people's better recall of Facebook posts compared to memory for human faces or sentences from books.

Women who undergo surgical menopause at an earlier age may have an increased risk of cognitive decline.

A mouse study shows that weakening unwanted or out-of-date connections is as important as making new connections, and that neurological changes as we age reduces our ability to weaken old connections.

A study emphasizes the importance of establishing source credibility when trying to correct false information.

A large study finds that hearing loss significantly increases the rate of cognitive decline in old age.

A comparison of traditional African villagers and those who have moved to town indicates that urban living improves working memory capacity even as it makes us more vulnerable to distraction.

A study shows that IQ and conscientiousness significantly predict emotional intelligence, and identifies shared brain areas that underlie this interdependence.

A six-week specific language therapy program not only improved chronic aphasic’s ability to name objects, but produced durable changes in brain activity that continued to bring benefits post-training.

A simulated study of life-threatening surgical crises has found that using a checklist reduced the omission of critical steps from 23% to 6%.

A study shows how easily you can affect motivation, producing a significant effect on college test scores, while a large German study finds that motivational and strategy factors, but not intelligence, affects growth in math achievement at high school.

A very large online study helps decide between the idea of intelligence as a single factor (‘g’) versus having multiple domains.

A new study quantifies the degree to which tasks that involve actions in a precise sequence are vulnerable to interruptions.

A smallish study suggests that the cognitive effects of menopause are greatest in the first year after menopause.

A new study points to pre-treatment reasons for declined cognitive function following chemotherapy, and suggests that anxiety may be the main driver.

Impairment in executive function is apparently far more common in those with MCI than previously thought, with the most common and severe impairment occurring in inhibitory control.