Professor. Susan Gathercole

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Biography and Keynote Speaker Abstract

Professor Susan Gathercole is a cognitive psychologist with interests in memory and learning including the causes of specific learning difficulties in children and how they might be overcome. She has held academic posts at Oxford, Lancaster, Bristol, Durham, York and Cambridge universities, and since 2011 has been Director of the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge.  Current projects examine the cognitive mechanisms of working memory and how they might be modified through training, and investigate through a new research clinic the dimensions of cognitive and brain that are often impaired in children with problems in attention, learning and memory. Susan became a Fellow of the British Academy in 2014 and was awarded an OBE for services to psychology and education in 2016.

Professor Susan Gathercole is the Unit Director at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. She is a research psychologist, best known for her studies into working memory deficits in children. Gathercole's findings have demonstrated the link between working memory deficits in children and poor academic outcomes. She has contributed to recent research showing that working memory deficits can be overcome with computerised, adaptive working memory training.


Supporting learners: Where does the evidence lead us?

One of the major goals of this BDA International Conference has been to exchange insights on dyslexia and other difficulties with learning that come from the different perspectives of research and practice.  In this session I will draw out some of the highlights from the programme that have the potential for real impact on how best to support learners. Impacts will be considered at all levels from individuals and their families, education and learning support services, to national policies. Finally, I will represent some of the pressing issues raised at the conference that as yet lack a firm evidence base. 

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