Welcome Zach Shipstead's ASU Working Memory and Attention Control Lab.

The focus of this laboratory is to explore the roles that intentional remembering and intentional forgetting play in producing complex cognition. My own hypothesis is that intentional remembering is a process that is primarily tapped by tasks traditionally used to measures individual differences in working memory capacity (the ability to remember critical information in the face of distraction). Conversely, intentional forgetting is primarily tapped by tasks that are traditionally used to measure general fluid intelligence (the ability to reason with novel information).

In effect, these two processes allow a person to remain focused on important information, rather than being drawn into distraction or fixating on outdated information. The strong correlation between working memory capacity and fluid intelligence is thus explained by these processes being organized around the goals of top-down attention.

Along with my students I have begun a series of studies designed to clarify and extend this theory.