Dr Rob Hughes

Research interests

1.  Short-term memory and sequence learning. This research theme involves critically reappraising the classical and dominant view that there are special modules within the cognitive architecture dedicated to the function of short-term storage and the development of an alternative view in which short-term retention (and long-term sequence memory) is a by-product of general-purpose perceptual (particularly auditory perceptual organisation) and motor skills (particularly speech-planning).

2. Cognitive psychology of selective attention, particularly the development of a duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction in which attentional selectivity can be compromised either by competition from the sound for the control of ongoing action or by its capture of attention from that action. Current interest within this theme centres on how top-down control—in terms of both response to contextual factors (e.g., high task-difficulty) and a stable disposition for attentional control—can serve to counter some but not all forms of such distraction.


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