Verbal short-term memory (vSTM) refers to the ability by which information such as speech or written text is stored and, after a short delay, retrieved. The ability to temporarily store and retrieve information underpins critical cognitive functions such as sentence comprehension and reasoning/decision making. Therefore, understanding vSTM should lead to greater understanding of cognition more generally. My PhD critically assessed our understanding of vSTM and evaluated currently dominant theories that suggest a supporting role for vSTM is provided by activation elicited in linguistic networks contained within long-term memory. My work poses challenges to these dominant views and during the fellowship I aim to maximise the impact of my research by publishing in journals attracting a wide readership and communicating my research outcomes to a range of different audiences.
I will also be undertaking an industry placement at The Airbus Cyber Innovation Hub and will conduct work within the Cyber Lab (a joint initiative between Airbus and Welsh Government to drive and deliver ground-breaking innovation in Wales). Within the Cyber Lab is a Human-Centric Cyber Security Team that explore areas such as identifying susceptibilities to certain security risks and designing strategies that enable individuals to become the best defence for future risks. Recent interest in the utilisation of vSTM tasks/theory in these areas has already led to a number of key findings. The placement will allow me to provide my insight into vSTM to help with the further development of appropriate tasks and testing environments and to assist with their implementation. It will also provide the opportunity for further skills development and for forging new collaborative networks. Ultimately, it is an excellent opportunity in which to bridge my knowledge of vSTM with cutting edge research into cyber security and to help establish a strong and impactful research relationship with industry.