Asian-American woman reading in library

Can You Remember This?

The College of Education & Human Development created the Dean’s Doctoral Research Fellowship to recognize newly-admitted doctoral students for their outstanding scholarly accomplishments and academic potential. As fellows, they receive funding that supports their research projects and helps them become scholars who make significant contributions to their field of study. 

This issue of Research & Innovation highlights a selection of their research. 

by Claire Miller

Short-term memory allows someone to recall information from the immediate past for a relatively short time. Working memory, on the other hand, refers to the active processes involved in manipulating this information.

Headshot of Amani Talwar

Amani Talwar

Doctoral fellow Amani Talwar and Professor Daphne Greenberg examined the relationship between reading comprehension and these two types of memory among adults who struggle with reading.

Talwar and Greenberg’s study found that short-term memory is a stronger predictor of reading comprehension for struggling adult readers than working memory, even after taking other variables, such as age, word reading, fluency and oral vocabulary, into account.

“Due to the high correlation between working memory and achievement in literature, memory researchers often measure working memory instead of short-term memory when studying complex constructs, such as reading comprehension,” Talwar explained. “But this may not be the best practice for struggling adult readers. Our study provides evidence for a relationship between short-term memory and reading comprehension. Researchers studying struggling adult readers may find it more meaningful to measure both types of memory.”