Center Seminar Series

Working Memory Capacity


You need to keep in mind multiple things at once to understand language, solve problems, or plan your day's activities.  I will describe what psychological experiments and brain research tell us about humans' ability to keep things in mind, called working memory.  There are some situations that make it difficult to keep more than a few simple items in working memory, and other situations that allow a surprising amount to be remembered.  I will focus on just what the act of paying attention contributes to how much one remembers.  I will also discuss investigations into the reasons that working memory capacity increases in childhood, allowing more complex ideas to be understood as children mature, and reasons why it declines in old age.


Learning Objectives:

 After attending this session, participants should be able to:

1. Describe the research on working memory and how it relates to cognitive abilities.

2. Explain the role of selective attention in relation to working memory and cognition.



Nelson Cowan is Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri – Columbia and Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. His research on working memory, its relation to attention, and its human development, funded by the National Institutes of Health for the past 30 years, has been published in many journal articles and book chapters and in several books, including Working memory capacity (classic edition, 2016) and Attention and memory:  An integrated framework (1995).

Monday, March 25, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for registration and social time

Kansas City Public Library – Plaza Branch, in the Large Meeting Room


This Center Seminar is free to the public; $30 for a certificate of completion for CME or CEU credit payable at the door by cash, check, or credit card.

For information, contact GKCTPC at 816-512-7438 or

About the Center

The Greater Kansas City and Topeka Psychoanalytic Center is a nonprofit organization which provides a forum for discussion of theoretical, cultural, and clinical ideas regarding psychoanalysis, as well as networking opportunities for professionals, through community forums, professional workshops and annual film series. Membership is open to any person with a serious interest in psychoanalysis. The Center is the parent organization of the Greater Kansas City Psychoanalytic Institute, which provides post graduate training in the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. More information about the Greater Kansas City and Topeka Psychoanalytic Center is available at


Continuing Medical Education Credits

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Greater Kansas City-Topeka Psychoanalytic Center. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.