Nelson Cowan

Nelson Cowan is the Curators' Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri. He specializes in working memory, the small amount of information held in mind and used for language processing and various kinds of problem solving. To overcome conceptual difficulties that arise for models of information processing in which different functions occur in separate boxes, Cowan proposed a more organically organized "embedded processes" model. Within it, representations held in working memory comprise an activated subset of the representations held in long-term memory, with a smaller subset held in a more integrated form in the current focus of attention. Other work has been on the developmental growth of working memory capacity and the scientific method. His work, funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1984 (primarily NICHD), has been cited over 41,000 times according to Google Scholar. The work has resulted in over 250 peer-reviewed articles, over 60 book chapters, 2 sole-authored books, and 4 edited volumes.

In addition to basic scientific work, Cowan's collaborative research related to working memory has led to clarification of the role of memory in language disorders, dyslexia, autism, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, amnesia, and alcoholic intoxication, as explained further on his web site and CV. For example, the work on amnesia indicates that individuals who usually cannot form new memories because of stroke or brain damage often demonstrate considerable ability to do so when the information to be memorized is surrounded by several minutes with minimal visual or acoustic interference. Provided by Wikipedia
Published 2022
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