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Protecting information in working memory from distraction is essential to goal-directed behaviour. Discarding information from working memory may be just as important, as outdated information consumes precious storage capacity and can interfere with current goals. In this talk, I will discuss both of these abilities.

First, I will review recent advances in cognitive psychology and neuroscience that have produced new insights into the nature of working memory and its ability to resist distraction. This includes our recent findings which demonstrate that the benefits associated with prioritisation in working memory include a “bend but don’t break” policy for enduring distraction. Second, I will describe our recent neuroimaging work focused on intentionally removing information from working memory. We’ve identified distinct strategies for removal that have unique but stable patterns of brain activity with surprising consequences on the encoding of new information.



Find out more about Jarrod Lewis-Peacock, Associate Professor at the University of Texas, Austin at

The seminar will take place in person only at the Department of Experimental Psychology, New Radcliffe House (Seminar Room 2), Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6NW.

If you would like to chat with the speaker on the day, please email Hazel Kennedy at

Seminar locations will be circulated the week before seminars. For online seminars, links for joining will be sent out before each seminar. 

If you have suggestions for future speakers, please contact Lauren (, or Nima (