Nelson Cowan, PhD

Curators’ Distinguished Professor,
University of Missouri


March 24, 2017
12:20 pm
Uris Hall 202


Me and My Shadow: The Conscious Mind, the Auxiliary Mind, How they Cooperate, and How they Grow

This talk will address one of the mysteries of human behavior, the contrast between the very small limit in how much information can be held in the conscious mind at once and the broad capabilities that we all display when using language and solving problems. To explain this paradox, a major premise to be examined is that the conscious mind has an auxiliary helper, or shadow, in the form of ready-to-use memory information relevant to the task at hand but just outside of the focus of attention or conscious awareness. The parameters of the interaction of these conscious and auxiliary facets of the mind will be discussed with respect to research on adult working memory, brain function, and child development.

Refreshments to be served at 12:10