Understanding Working Memory: Dr Chris Donkin

What is this research about?

Working memory – being able to keep information in mind for a short period of time – is a critical part of practically all of cognition. Our ability to temporarily hold and manipulate verbal and visual information allows us to think, to reason, and is the gateway to long-term memory.

We are motivated by questions such as: What are the limits of working memory? How do things make it into working memory? How do things leave working memory – all of a sudden, or gradually? do they leave by themselves, or are they pushed out by other things? 

Other researchers involved:

Associate Professor Mike Le Pelley

Publications relating to this research:

Taylor, R., Thomson, H., Sutton, D., & Donkin, C. (2017). Does working memory have a single capacity? Journal of Memory and Language, 93, 67-81.

Donkin, C., Kary, A., Tahir, F., & Taylor, R. (2016). Resources masquerading as slots: Flexible allocation of visual working memory. Cognitive Psychology, 85, 30-42.

Donkin, C., Nosofsky, R. M., Gold, J., & Shiffrin, R. M. (2015). Verbal labeling, gradual decay, and sudden death in visual short-term memory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22, 170-178.

Donkin, C., Nosofsky, R. M., Gold, J., & Shiffrin, R. (2013). Discrete-slots models of visual working-memory response times. Psychological Review, 120, 873-902.

Nosofsky, R. M., Little, D. R., Donkin, C. & Fific, M. (2011). Short-term memory scanning viewed as exemplar-based categorization. Psychological Review, 118, 280-315.

Grants awarded:

2017-2019 ARC Discovery Project. “Towards a process model of visual working memory”. Cis: C. Donkin, M. Le Pelley.

2013-2015 ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award. “A model based approach to investigating short-term memory: Exploiting response time distributions.” CI: C. Donkin


To find out more about this research, please contact Dr Chris Donkin.