Dr Richard Allen

Dr Richard Allen


I joined the University of Leeds as a Lecturer in 2008, and became Associate Professor in 2015.

  • I gained my Psychology BSc from the University of York, where I also studied for my PhD under Professor Charles Hulme (graduating in 2003), working on verbal short-term memory and speech processing. I then worked as a post-doctoral researcher at University of Bristol (2003) and University of York (2003-2008), with Professors Alan Baddeley and Graham Hitch, exploring mechanisms underlying binding in working memory and attention.
  • I currently serve as Associate Editor at the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review (since January 2020), having previously been Associate Editor at Memory between 2013-2019. I also co-convene the annual Working Memory Discussion Meeting, and regularly organise the annual Greater Yorkshire Memory Meeting.



  • MSc Cognitive Development & Disorders Co-ordinator
  • MPsyc Advanced Psychology Co-ordinator

Research interests

  • My research interests are broadly concerned with memory function in healthy populations and patient groups, examining how information is bound, maintained and utilized for further action, in working memory and long-term memory.
  • I explore this broad question in healthy populations (children, young adults and older adults) and patient groups, using a variety of methodologies. This research aims to address key issues concerning the structure and function of human memory, and inform development of assessment, training and rehabilitation techniques in a range of settings. A central part of my research focuses on working memory, that is, the ability to temporarily keep in mind and manipulate information drawn from the environment and from long-term memory. I am interested in how different types of stimuli are encoded and retained or lost over brief periods of time, and how this 'short-term' memory might interact with attention, pre-existing knowledge in LTM, and other cognitive capacities (eg visual perception, language processing).
  • A continuing focus concerns how information is bound into integrated representations of objects and episodes (be it simple information in the visual environment, meaningful language, or autobiographical events), rather than as separate elements. This issue of memory 'binding' has critical implications across cognition and for development of assessment and support methods in education and clinical settings.
  • On a related note, it is established that working memory and attention are closely related constructs, with selective attention determining to a large extent what is stored in memory and what is forgotten. Some of my research explores the nature of this interactive relationship, and whether and how attention can be directed towards more important information to aid ongoing task completion.
  • This work is part of a set of research objectives, exploring how memory (and broader cognitive) performance can be improved through changes to task context, attentional control, strategy, concurrent activity and environmental support, across a range of populations and tasks (including memory for visual and verbal information, and sequences of instructions).
  • Finally, I am also interested in long-term memory function, exploring how information is encoded, retained, and retrieved over time, and how we might measure and reduce forgotting.


  • PhD Psychology
  • BSc Psychology

Professional memberships

  • Experimental Psychology Society
  • European Society for Cognitive Psychology

Student education

I teach at all levels on programmes within the School of Psychology, from Level 1 to Masters. This teaching is oriented around my research interests in memory and cognitive function, across age groups, typical and atypical populations. I also supervise projects at Level 3 and Masters levels, and act as a personal tutor to groups of students each year.

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>