EP1: Working memory and executive functions in development and disorder

Lead Research Organisation: MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit

Abstract

This programme investigates high-level cognitive abilities that have a significant practical aspect of our everyday lives, and that are frequently impaired during development in childhood and later life through age- and disease-related changes in the brain. One focus is on the cognitive and brain mechanisms of working memory, the system that provides temporary storage of information needed to guide us through our ongoing cognitive activities. We are interested in particular in how these systems change with intensive training, which has the potential to identify ways of improving the cognitive functioning of individuals with low memory capacities. A second project investigates the underlying cognitive and biological causes of children’s difficulties in attention, learning and memory, and in particular how common problems may be present in individuals with different diagnoses. Understanding how best to diagnose learning difficulties provides new opportunities to identify the best ways to help overcome common problems in learning in childhood.

Technical Summary

This programme investigates the mechanisms that underpin working memory and executive functions with the aim of developing theoretical understanding of typical cognition, and also how these mechanisms may be disrupted and may be ameliorated in developmental disorders. There are two main components to the programme.

The first component focuses on the cognitive and neural mechanisms of working memory in typical adults, with a particular focus on how intensive training can modify these mechanisms. Current projects compare different kinds of training in short-term and working memory with the aim of discovering the processes underpinning transfer to untrained tasks. Methods including brain simulation and neuroimaging are being employed to illuminate the neurological processes underpinning any training-related changes in behaviour.

The second component is a cross-programme collaboration with Astle and Manly investigating the cognitive and neural mechanisms of developmental difficulties of attention, learning and memory. Recruitment takes place through a new research clinic established at the Centre for Attention, Learning and Memory (CALM), which aims to discover the core dimensions of impairment common to children with multiple developmental problems including ADHD, dyslexia and dyscalculia. MRI testing and DNA collection provides the basis for neuroimaging and genetic analysis of these children, who are also recruited for participation in intervention studies designed to improve learning outcomes.

Publications

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Arina S. (2015) The role of the working memory in the early phases of learning to read in BPA Applied Psychology Bulletin

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Bathelt J (2018) Data-Driven Subtyping of Executive Function-Related Behavioral Problems in Children. in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Gathercole S (2016) How Common are WM Deficits in Children with Difficulties in Reading and Mathematics? in Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition

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Gathercole SE (2014) Commentary: Working memory training and ADHD - where does its potential lie? Reflections on Chacko et al. (2014). in Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines

 
Description Developing new techniques to study attention and learning during infancy
Amount £305,434 (GBP)
Funding ID pf120018 
Organisation The British Academy 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 01/2016
 
Description Developing touch-screen working memory assessments for pre-schoolers
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Department MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Infant precursors of adult intelligence: Attention and abstraction'
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Department MRC CBU Director's Strategic Fund
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2014 
End 11/2015
 
Description Remediating reading difficulties: can working memory training really help?
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Funding ID April 
Organisation The British Academy 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 04/2015
 
Description Using transcranial electrical stimulation to enhance the effects of cognitive training
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Department MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Cambridge Family Social Enterprise 
Organisation Trumpington Street Medical Practice
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Submitted a successful application to the Everlyn Trust Charity for support of an integrated Tier 1 service for a holistic early intervention service for mental health problems in young people.
Collaborator Contribution They took the lead in the concept and project design.
Impact None as yet.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Developing new techniques for recording EEG correlates of attention in infancy 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Involved in grant writing and project management. MRC Cognition & Brian Sciences Unit hosted testing.
Collaborator Contribution Administered testing.
Impact Project still running.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Investigating the effect of training attention control in children with Rett Syndrome 
Organisation Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The project is based on attentional control training paradigms I developed. I contributed to grant writing and project management.
Collaborator Contribution Running and hosting test of participants.
Impact Project still running.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Investigating the effect of training attention control in children with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder 
Organisation Cardiff University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The project is based on attentional control training paradigms that I developed. I was involved in grant writing and project management.
Collaborator Contribution Responisibillity for running and hosting testing.
Impact Project still running.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Investigating the effect of training attention control in typical children 
Organisation Tampere University Hospital
Country Finland 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution The project is based on attentional control training paradigms that I developed. I contributed to grant writing and project management.
Collaborator Contribution Running and hosting testing.
Impact Project still running.
Start Year 2012
 
Description The effect of training attentional control in infants with family histories of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 
Organisation Birkbeck, University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The project is based on attentional control training paradigms that I developed. I contributed to grant writing and project management.
Collaborator Contribution Running and hosting testing of participants.
Impact Project still running. The project is not multi-disciplinary.
Start Year 2012
 
Description 'The Secret Lives of Four-Year-Olds' television documentary 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Programme not yet broadcast.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description 2016 Freshers Fair- University of Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact At the University of Cambridge Freshers Fair we had a stall to inform students about opportunities to participate in our research and undertake further study.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description 2016 Open Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An open day to the public which included talks on a range of topics related to cognition and brain sciences, tours and demonstrations of the facilities, a history of the Unit and children's treasure hunt and activity tent.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description 2016 Science Night 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of the annual Cambridge Science Festival we organised an evening of demonstrations and talks.exploring parts of the research work being carried out here at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. This generated wider interest in our research and the topics raised.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description APS conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation at international academic conference attended by approx 150 academics. Will lead to collaborative research opportunities and promoted work of CBU to international audience
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.psychologicalscience.org/conventions/annual
 
Description BACN, York (Frequency and spatial distribution of MRI identified brain lesions and heart surgery) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Had interesting discussions with several other academics which stimulated ideas for further research


Not aware of further notable impacts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description BBC Newsround 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Enhanced awareness among children of scientific research on "brain training" being conducted at CBU. Reached National TV prime time viewing for children

Children (participants) learned more about research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Bath PATOSS 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact National recognition of MRC's work by educational specialists working to support children with learning difficulties

Delegates requested pratical advice after the session
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Big Data Little Brains Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation about new approaches to understanding learning difficulties using big data (e.g. CALM cohort). Attended by 100 academics, students and practitioners. Sparked discussion about diagnoses and the utility of collaborative working to develop big datasets to answer big scientific questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://fluxsatellite.web.unc.edu/
 
Description Blog for Pearson Assessments (Ten papers on working memory training you should read) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact n/a
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Blog for Pearson Assessments (Ten tips for better Cogmed training) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact n/a

Increase in practitioner awareness of intervention methods
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.pearsonclinical.co.uk/Cogmed/articles/ten-papers-on-working-memory-you-should-read.aspx
 
Description BrainCanDo 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Practitioner talk about the importance of working memory and other cognitive abilities in development and learning. Attended by approx 60 teachers who were open to discussing new ideas about how consider the basis for using different interventions for children who are struggling in school.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://braincando.com/about/
 
Description CALM Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact CBU and MRC reputation enhanced among broad network of educational and healthcare practitioners who are working to support children with learning difficulties

Delegates reported increased awareness of relevant research at CBSU which would inform their practice
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description CALM WM Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Recognition of MRC's work by regional educational and healthcare specialists working to support children with learning difficulties

Raised awareness among network of local educational practitioners about work relevatn to them that is conducted at CBSU
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description CALM conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An annual conference was hosted for professional practitioners who refer the CALM clinic at the MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://calm.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/events/
 
Description CAMH LD team talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Enhanced CBU reputation among local practitioners.

Learning difficulties team reported the new research clinic (CALM) would be very valuable and have referred children to us.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description CBSU Newsletter article (CALM 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Awareness of CBU science increased among members of the public attending CBU and taking part in studies

Participants aware of purpose of research clinic at CBSU
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description CBU Newsletter (How are babies' and toddlers' brains different?) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact n/a
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description CDCN talk at UCL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation at the Centre for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience on new approaches to understanding the causes of learning difficulties. Sparked discussion about current clinical practice, and the potential for science to influence empirically derived classifications of disorder.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Cambridge Neuroscience Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Scientific presentation about transdiagnostic approaches to understanding the causes of learning difficulties. Presentation to Cambridge neuroscience community and linked researchers. Sparked discussion about clinical diagnoses and new methods for deriving empirically-based groupings of children with learning problems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.neuroscience.cam.ac.uk/events/event.php?permalink=78f6baff00
 
Description Cambridge PATOSS 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Awareness of the work of CBU enhanced among local practitioners working in schools

Attendees more aware of opportunities to engage in research at CBSU
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Cambridge SLT talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Enhanced CBU reputation among local practitioners.

SLTs reported the new research clinic (CALM) would be very valuable and have referred children to us.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Cambridge Science Festival open evening 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The evening is highly interactive with the public trying up to 10 experiments and speaking to the scientists running each one, plus many questions after each talk

This evening is always extremely popular, with many people coming each year to see the new talks and try the new experiments. The audience usually contains many of our our active volunteers, and there is always a rise in website traffic and volunteer recruitment after the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Cambridge University Students' Union Freshers' Fair. Anglia Ruskin University Freshers' Fair. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact As a result of this recruitment activity approximately 300-500 new participants join the database of volunteers at the CBU.

New participants spread the word about volunteering at the CBU and this then increases our recruitment further. Word of mouth is our most successful recruitment method.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2014
URL http://www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/take-part/
 
Description Cambridgeshire SaLT talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A talk was given to all of the Speech and Language Therapists in Cmabridgeshire (approx. 90 people) to describe the research of the CALM clinic at the MRC CBU and to encourage the therapists to refer children to the clinic. The outcomes influenced how we recruit children to the clinic and stimulated engagement from the audience in our research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Cambridgeshire Specialist Teachers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Reputation of CBU enhanced among county-wide network of practitioners supporting children in schools

Outcome of training session for speclist teachers is a collaboration in which they are now working with us to train and educate their teams across the county about working memory
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Centre for Educational Neuroscience talk, Birkbeck 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Work of the CBU recognised by postgraduate students and academics working in similar fields in academic institutions in London

Education of postgraduate students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Downs Syndrome Education Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Reputation of MRC and CBU enhanced nationally to both academics and educational and health practitioners working with children.

Practitioners reported increased understanding of issues around working meomry problems
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description EEF teaching schools conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presentation to a network of schools who are engaged in research and supported by the EEF. Ideas for school-based research projects discussed with approx 70 teachers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description East Coast Head Injury Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact DD to supply further information

Attendees more aware of opportunities to engage in ongoing research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Eleanor Saffran Cog Neuroscience Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact MRC and CBU reputation enhanced globally to both academics and educational and health practitioners working in USA.

Delegates reported two talks and workshop were "the most interactive", "informative","useful in terms of practical guidance" that they have ever attended.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description ICPS Vienna 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Academic presentation to scientists interested in cognitive training. Talk given as part of an invited symposium. Sparked discussion about the limitations of existing cognitive training programs for delivering real-world benefits.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ILAE meeting, Montreal, Canada 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact -
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Independent Schools Council Special Needs conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Enhanced the reputation of the CBU among school practitioners as a leading research insititute investigating cognitive underpinnings of learning

Contacted by schools to provide more information and practical guidance. Schools wanted to participate in research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.isc.co.uk/education-campaigns/campaigns/special-educational-needs/special-educational-nee...
 
Description International Conference for Infant Studies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact -

Many participants asked questions afterwards
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description International Conference on Heart and Brain, Paris 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Had interesting discussions with several other academics which stimulated ideas for further research

-
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description International Epilepsy Congress, Stockholm, Sweden 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact -
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Invited lecture at Donders Institute, Nijmegen 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact 150 cognitive neuroscientists attended my talk

Multiple contacts from researchers interested in my research and maerials
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Invited talk to the Learns charity on pitfalls and prospects for struggling learners 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The meeting was attended by 90 practitioners and it stimulated a wide-ranging discussion about practical ways to held children with learning difficulties.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Summer Programme. Kyoto, Narita and Tokyo, Japan Elizabeth Byrne 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I was awarded a fellowship from the British Council of Japan to take part in the JSPS Summer Programme. The aim of programme is to foster young researchers and promote scientific collaboration between Japan and other countries. I spent 2 months working in Dr Satoru Saito's group at Kyoto University. During this time I completed a project (including data collection and analysis). We are now in the process of writing this project for publication. During this time I was able to discuss my PhD research with other members of the team. We have plans to continue this collaboration and will conduct further research together.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.jsps.go.jp/english/e-summer/
 
Description Keynote address at the SPeLD Language, Learning & Literacy Conference, Perth Australia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The conference was attended by an international group of 500 practitioners in specific learning difficulties. I made accessible to the audience many resources which have subsequently been used to support their professional activities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Leeds Uni Psycholgy Lab Group visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Recognition among fellow academics working in University sector of the work of CBU

Collaboration with other academics resulting in preparation of grant application
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Leys School (How does technology affect concentration?) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact n/a

Many students asked questions, both directly and via email afterwards
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Mediated workshop on 'Working memory in the classroom' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact SG to supply further information.

Contacted by several delegates to provide more information and practical guidance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.learnus.co.uk/events.html
 
Description Meeting with specialist teachers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact County-wide recognition of CBU's work and relevance to educational practitioners

Specialist teachers able to recognise opportunities to help transfer knowledge on our behalf to other practitioners
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Meetings with Head Teachers and/or Numeracy Leaders and/or SENCos from six primary schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Various primary schools representatives (head teachers, numeracy leaders and SENCos) engaged in a dialogue about a current project on working memory, reading and mathematics difficulties and interventions. The explanation and overview of the project sparked questions and discussion about the project's topic and the subsequent engagement of schools in the project. These meetings brought to the recruitment of 200+ children for the project.

A registered interest from teachers in working memory and its role for learning.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Naked Scientists Radio show 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Enhanced MRC CBU's reputation internationally as world leaders in field of cognitive training via international radio show / podcast

Producers of Naked Scientists reported more interest and follow-up questions after podcast and radio show than expected
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Online publication (The Conversation) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 1693 readers from Europe, North America and Australia read an article about the results of a longitudinal study on the links between children's cognitive abilities and parental education.

The article was shared online multiple times and reached a varied audience of academics, practitioners, and members of the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://theconversation.com/childrens-cognitive-abilities-linked-to-parental-education-26070
 
Description PLL Pracitioner article with SG 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Practical importance of MRC and CBU science translated to international audience of practitioners

Requests for further practical guidance from practitioners worldwide
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Pearson Online Working Memory Week conference (JH and DD) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact MRC's reputation enhanced across wide network of customers (scientists and practitioners) who purchase from Pearson, a world-leading publishing company

Increase in practitioner awareness of intervention methods and contacted by several delegates to provide more information and guidance
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.pearsonclinical.co.uk/NewsandEvents/Events/online-working-memory-week.aspx
 
Description Peterborough NHS Neurodevelopmental Team talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Enhanced CBU reputation among local practitioners.

NHS team reported the new research clinic (CALM) would be very valuable and have referred children to us.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Pictures Of You 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of Cambridge Science Festival we organised an original theatrical performance to illustrate issues around mental health. Inspired by the 'mental imagery', emotion and the study and treatment of bipolar disorder, Pictures of You presented the intriguing meeting of two friends after many years apart. Full of unexpected lightness, warmth and love, the play explored the challenge of recalling the past and picturing the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Poster presentation at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society annual meeting in New York, USA Erica Bottacin 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Various conference delegates (mainly other academics, but also other professionals) read my poster ('Are working memory impairments core to learning difficulties? A training study'), which presented baseline and training data from my PhD research, and listened to the poster presentation. This sparked questions and discussions about my research and about the impact of training working memory on academic achievement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.cogneurosociety.org/annual-meeting
 
Description Poster presentation at the International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society in Granada, Spain Erica Bottacin 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Various conference delegates (mainly other academics, but also other professionals) read my poster ('Are working memory impairments core to learning difficulties? A training study'), which presented baseline and training data from my PhD research, and listened to the poster presentation. This sparked questions and discussions about my research and about the impact of training working memory on academic achievement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.postersessiononline.eu/pr/aula_poster.asp
 
Description Poster presentation at the JSPS Summer Programme orientation. Narita, Japan Elizabeth Byrne 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I presented a poster which outlined the research plan for my time in Japan. Other participants of the summer programme, who were from a diverse range of scientific fields (e.g. medicine, physics, chemistry, neuroscience, psychology etc) read about my plan to investigate the underlying mechanisms that take place when people engage in working memory tasks such as N-back.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.jsps.go.jp/english/e-summer/
 
Description Practical seminar in cognitive psychology (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge) Erica Bottacin & Elizabeth Byrne 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Students undergoing the Psychology and Education Master Course at the University of Cambridge (8 in the 2015 session and 16 in the 2016 one) have participated in a practical research-led learning session. The session was aimed at spreading knowledge on our own area of expertise in cognitive psychology; students produced a written report based on the knowledge acquired and on the experiment carried out during the session.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Public event - CBU Science Night 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact MRC CBU hosts an annual science night for the general public as part of the Science Festival. Approx 80 people from the general public came along to this talk to find out more about the science conducted here. This increased public awareness of the MRC and of the CBU.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Royal Institution (How science doesn't work: early exposure to technology and concentration abilities) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Covered in blogs and on the Royal Institution website

Many students asked questions, both directly and via email afterwards
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://richannel.org/home/ri-event-newsletters/ri-education-august-2012
 
Description SEND conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Keynote talk at annual Special Eduational Needs and Disabilities meeting. Attended by approx 250 educational professionals who engaged in debate about the role of working memory in supporting classroom learning.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description School INSET 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Practical relevance of CBU scientific work made apparent to local educational practitioners

School staff requested further information about practical ways to support children in school and were keen to participate in furhter research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description School INSET - teacher training day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A talk and workshop was hosted for a local primary school for their INSET day. Approx 65 teachers attended to learn about the impact of working memory on children's learning. This sparked interest and debate about the importance of our research and avenues for future research based on practitioner needs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description School Visit (Villiers Park) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 23 pupils attended a talk about the relationship between working memory and learning, which sparked questions and discussion afterwards.

Not aware of any notable impacts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description School visit to the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We hosted a day of talks, tours of the facilities and opportunity to meet with academics for pupils selected by Villiers Educational Trust for a programme of educational enrichment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description School visit to the Unit - Leys School, Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 22 students and two tutors atttended an afternoon of activities, with an introduction to the MRC and CBU, two science talks, a careers session and two lab visits to our MEG and mock-MRI rooms.

The lead teacher sent the following message "Once again can I say a big thank you to you and your colleagues at the unit for today's workshop. This is one event that just seems to get better each passing year, if this is at all possible. With the links made from past and current research students at the centre, you have paved the way in shaping the direction of a number of students that I teach to apply for Psychology & Neuroscience at university. Again, a very big thank you from my students and myself in giving up your time to inform us of the current research which is being undertaken at the unit."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description School visit to the Unit - Murray Edwards Psychology course 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 14 students and three tutors atttended an afternoon of activities, with an introduction to the MRC and CBU, two science talks, a careers session and two lab visits to our MEG and mock-MRI rooms. Visit held for a group of overseas students attending a 3-week introduction to Psychology summer course in Murray Edwards College from 07 to 25 July this year. The course is administered by the Summer Discovery Program, a USA based organisation that recruits interested high-school students from around the globe.

This college requested the visit as they believed it would be inspirational to visit a working research institute and meet the scientists and PhD students. We received a charming thank you card with messages from each student thanking us for our time and efforts and saying how much they enjoyed the visit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description School visit to the Unit - Villiers Park Educational Trust 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Visit hosted for 27 students and three tutors who atttended an afternoon of activities, with an introduction to the MRC and CBU, two science talks, a careers session and two lab visits to our MEG and mock-MRI rooms. The session was highly interactive with the students asking many questions and having the chance to try out the MEG machine and the mock-MRI machine .

This Educational Trust has been visiting each year for the last four years as part of their Neuroscince week for 'gifted and talented' students. The trust believes it is inspirational to visit a working research institute and meet the scientists and PhD students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Science Night 2014 (How does technology affect concentration?) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact -

Many members of the public asked questions, both directly and via email afterwards
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Sutton Trust Educational Charity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact n/a

Many students asked questions, both directly and via email afterwards
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Talk at Dr Satoru Saito's research group at Kyoto University, Japan Elizabeth Byrne 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact : I gave a talk on my PhD research on transcranial electrical brain stimulation and working memory training. I outlined the design of my research projects and presented my data and conclusions. I also discussed my experience of pre-registration. I answered questions and engaged in discussion about my research. This talk allowed me to disseminate my research, and that of my group, to fellow academics to an international audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk at the British Dyslexia Association 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact 250 dyslexia specialists

email requests subsequently for specialist materials and copies of the talk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Talk at the Patrick Wild Centre, Edinburgh on the CALM project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Approximately 80 people drawn from clinical fields including paediatrics and clinical psychology attended the lecture on the CALM specific learning difficulties clinic
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk on 'working memory' to Cambridge public BrainFest event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The talk was attended by 70 members of the general public. They asked many questions and i received several queries by email subsequently.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk on equality issues in science to staff and students at UCL, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact We discussed ways that women can best find an appropriate professional pathway that integrates with personal goals. The discussion was very spirited and was described by several attendees as inspirational.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk on equality issues in science to staff and students at the University of Reading 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The discussion focussed on the integration of personal and professional activities. There was a spirited discussion and I was contacted by several attendees subsequently who identified changes in their perspective resulting from this.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Teacher talk Partners in Learning 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to school teachers about methods to support children who are struggling in the classroom. Sparked plans for implementing new strategies in the classroom.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Teacher training workshop - Enfield and Barnet PATOSS 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A talk and workshop was hosted for a PATOSS group (teachers of students with special educational needs). Approx 40 people attended to learn about the impact of working memory on children's learning. This sparked interest and debate about the importance of our research and avenues for future research based on practitioner needs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Teacher training workshop - Letchworth PATOSS 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A talk and workshop was hosted for a PATOSS group (teachers of students with special educational needs). Approx 40 people attended to learn about the impact of working memory on children's learning. This sparked interest and debate about the importance of our research and avenues for future research based on practitioner needs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Teaching assistant training 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Practical importance of CBU research made visible to local school community

Teaching assistants were able to apply practical guidance to classroom practice
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Telephone conference Lynsey Winship, Times Ed Supplement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Reputation of CBU enhanced among national newspaper journalists

Interviewer used information provided to inform piece for Times Ed Supplement (newspaper)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Working memory coach training (several occasions) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact DD to supply further information

Increase in practitioner awareness of intervention methods and delegates seeking practical advice
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description Working memory training, IHR University of Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact 60 academics and practitioners attended a talk at the IHR in Nottingham. The purpose of this talk was to share new data, and discuss methodologies with others who were keen to implement similar studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Workshop for Brighton Literacy Support Service 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact SG to supply further information

Contacted by several delegates to provide more information and practical guidance. Requests for further workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/sites/brighton-hove.gov.uk/files/Susan%20Gathercole%20Training%20Day...
 
Description Workshop for specialist teachers in Geneva 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop attended by 30 specialist teachers

Subsequent email requests for materials and offers of collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.unige.ch/formcont/logopediejuin2014/logopedie.pdf
 
Description Workshop on 'Supporting children with working memory problems' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact SG will supply further information

Contacted by several delegates to provide more information and practical guidance. Increased recruitment to our research studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://calm.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/events/
 
Description Workshop on 'Understanding and helping children with problems in attention, learning and memory' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact SG to supply further information

Contacted by several delegates to provide more information and practical guidance. Increased recruitment to our research studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://calm.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/events/
 
Description Workshop on 'Working memory and learning' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact SG to supply further information.

Contacted by several delegates to provide more information and practical guidance. Increased recruitment to our research studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.swindonnews.org.uk/swindons-dyslexia-service-prepares-for-fourth-annual-conference/