Memories Attention and Emotions, Oh My!

Memories Attention and Emotions, Oh My!

For the last two weeks , many concepts have been covered in relation to Cognitive Science. Out of the concepts I will discuss Memory, Attention and Emotion and its connection to my own learning environment.

Memory and Attention

As a program assistant, I rely on my skilled knowledge, experience and practice (Perkins, 2009) to complete my tasks at my position and work on my job performance. At times I have deal with the “hard parts” like the fairly new financial system, so many time I pay very close attention what I am doing and I am very deliberate about making sure I rehearse the task before I execute it. In his paper, Fougnie (2008) discusses that central attention works in conjunction with your working memory to allow you to keep the information you acquire over time and helps the brain concentrate when processing tasks using the stored information. Until this course I did not know the big connection between memory and attention. I have noticed if I am distracted or not very interested in what I am learning, my memory of what I learned is choppy or not clear. As a better illustration of this point, I have included a video of Jonis Jendi discussing the effects of poor working memory and what it does to your attention. The video is really short but I feel he explains a lot in that short time on video.


Emotions play a strong role in my learning environment, particularly with my motivation. As with others that have created a PLE online, each course is a new learning environment or at least a piece of that environment. I understand that I have a goal in mind and that each course and how I perform will get me closer to my goal of earning my degree and advancing my career. I am also getting older, so my perspective of time is starting to become constrained as I felt that I didn’t go back to school last semester, most likely I would have never done it and subsequently I would feel like I was a failure to potential I know I possess. In short, I am experiencing what Houde (2006) calls socioemotional selectivity. I have children and a husband now so I am taking time much more seriously and it has an effect on my emotions, motivation and my learning.

Please check out this short clip from Professor Laura Cartensen briefly talking about getting older, and motivation in the 21st century.

Preparing for Long Life in the 21st Century

Before You Go

I found this great article about intrinsic motivation, emotions and cognitive learning that I think ties into some of my thoughts of this post.


 photo calvin-hobbes-motivation.gif
Calvin and Hobbes always says it best.


Carstensen, L. (2015). Preparing for long life in the 21st Retrieved 9 February 2015, from

Cogmed Working Memory Training,. (2008). Cogmed: Working memory and attention problems. Retrieved from

Fougnie, D. (2008). The relationship between attention and working memory. In N. Johansen, New research on short-term memory (1st ed.). New York: Nova Biomedical Books.

Houde, J. (2006). Andragogy and Motivation: An Examination of the Principles of Andragogy through Two Motivation Theories. Retrieved January 29, 2015, from ERIC:

Perkins, D. N. (2009). Making learning whole : How seven principles of teaching can transform education. San Francisco, Calif: Wiley

Sun, R. (2013). Emotional fuel and the power to motivate studentsThe Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 February 2015, from