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Personal profile

Research Interests

Research and teaching interests lie in the cognition of human memory in the healthy, ageing, and damaged brain, focused on experimental behavioural studies of working memory. The approach is both theoretical and applied, with projects ranging from developing cognitive theories of working memory in the healthy brain through attention and memory deficits associated with focal brain damage and with neurodegeneration through age or brain pathology, to design of computerized patient monitoring for medical decision support in intensive care and the interaction between human and digital information storage.


Research Groups


Sept. 1972 - June 1976 University of Aberdeen. B.Sc. (Hons)
Oct. 1976 - Dec 1978 PhD in Psychology, University College London, UK.


Recent lecturing has included introduction to the Psychology of Memory at level 1, Working Memory lectures in Cogntive Neuroscience of Memory option course at level 4, and a Working Memory option for MSc students. In most years, I supervise senior honours projects, senior honours tutorials, MSc tutorials, MSc projects, and PhD students.

Administrative Roles

[2019-2021] Representative from Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences on CAHSS College Promotions Committee

[2005-2008 and 2010-2013 ] Research Director, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh.
[2004- ] Head (Joint with S Della Sala), Human Cognitive Neuroscience group, University of Edinburgh.
[2008-2013 and 2016-] Group leader for Human Cognitive Ageing within the MRC funded Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (CCACE).
[1997-2002] Head of Department of Psychology,University of Aberdeen.

[2011-2013] UoA REF co-ordinator for Psychology as part of Psychology, Neuroscience, Psychiatry submission (RAE co-ordinator for Psychology in 2007/8 at University of Edinburgh and in 1999/2000 at the University of Aberdeen)

Recent member of the following University Committees:

PPLS Research Committee (Chair) (until 2013)
College of Humanties and Social Sciences Research Committee (until 2013)
College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Research Committee (until 2013)
Psychology Department Research Committee (until 2013)

I stepped down from the above committees while on Research Leave in 2014, and currently run an international collaborative research project.

Chair (2015) of the Governing Board of The Psychonomic Society

Chair (2015) of European Research Council SH4 Advanced Grants Panel.

[2021-2022] Full panel member of Subpanel UoA4 for the UK-wide assessment of research, the REF.


Current Research Interests

Human working memory across the healthy adult lifespan

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 1981

Bachelor of Science, University of Aberdeen

Award Date: 1 Jan 1976


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