Dr Tom Mercer

Senior Lecturer

Email address: t.mercer2@wlv.ac.uk Phone number: 01902 321368 Location: MC324 Faculty: Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing School/Institute: Institute of Sport and Human Sciences Areas of expertise: .Cognitive Psychology

About

Background

I completed both my BSc (Hons) Psychology degree and PhD (Cognitive Psychology) at the University of Leeds. My doctoral research investigated short-term auditory memory and forgetting and was supervised by Dr Denis McKeown and Dr Richard Wilkie. I completed my PhD in 2011 and began working at the University of Wolverhampton in the same year.

I teach widely on the psychology undergraduate degrees and lecture on various modules including Research Methods in Psychology: Basic, Cognitive Psychology and Cognition and Individual Differences. I am a member of the Cognition in Context (CiC) research group and conduct experimental investigations into memory and forgetting. I am particularly interested in understanding how short-term representations are encoded, maintained and lost.

Research interests

Sensory memory, attention, mind wandering short-term/working memory, emotional memory, forgetting, auditory perception and cognition, experimental psychology.

Current Research Projects

Time and forgetting in short-term memory. On-going research is exploring how the passage of time affects the accuracy, strength and lifetime of short-term memory. The role of trace decay, temporal distinctiveness and retroactive interference are being tested using different methodologies. This work is primarily investigating nonverbal visual memory, partly in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Leeds.

Everyday forgetting. Following on from research conducted as part of the University of Wolverhampton’s Early Researcher Award Scheme (2012-13), this project aims to examine the factors underlying forgetting of everyday events. Of particular interest are techniques that reduce forgetting (e.g. the role of wakeful rest) and individual differences that influence memory loss (e.g. mind wandering and daydreaming)

Qualifications

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education 

University of Wolverhampton 

  • Modules included “Academic as Teacher” (Grade: A), “Academic as Researcher” (Grade: A) and “Academic as Designer” (Grade: A).
2012-2013

PhD Cognitive Psychology 

University of Leeds

  • Thesis:“Memory and forgetting of complex sounds.”
  • Supervisors: Dr D. McKeown and Dr R. M. Wilkie. 
  • Funded by a University of Leeds Research Scholarship.
2007-2011

BSc Psychology (First Class Honours) 

University of Leeds

2004-2007

Publications

Gimenes, G., Pennequin, V., & Mercer, T. (2016). What is the best strategy for retaining gestures in working memory? Memory, 24, 757-765.

Mercer, T. (2016). Technology-assisted memory. In A. Attrill & C. Fullwood (Eds.), Applied cyberpsychology: Practical applications of cyberpsychological theory and research (pp. 74-88). Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mercer, T., & Duffy, P. (2015). The loss of residual visual memories over the passage of time. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68, 242-248.

Mercer, T. (2015). Wakeful rest alleviates interference-based forgetting. Memory, 23, 127-137.

Mercer, T. (2014). The loss of short-term visual representations over time: Decay or temporal distinctiveness? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40, 2281-2288.

Holden, L., & Mercer, T. (2014). Nature in the learning environment: Exploring the relationship between nature, memory and mood. Ecopsychology, 6, 234-240.

Mercer, T., & McKeown, D. (2014). Decay uncovered in nonverbal short-term memory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21, 128-135.

McKeown, D., & Mercer, T. (2012). Short-term forgetting without interference. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38, 1057-1068.

McKeown, D., Mills, R., & Mercer, T. (2011). Comparison of complex sounds across extended retention intervals survives reading aloud. Perception, 40, 1193-1205.

Mercer, T., & McKeown, D. (2010). Updating and feature overwriting in short-term memory for timbre. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72, 2289-2303.

Mercer, T., & McKeown, D. (2010) Interference in short-term auditory memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63, 1256-1265.

Conference Presentations 

Mercer, T., & Jones, G. (2016, May). Are our memories really that bad? Exploring highly detailed visual memories over one week. Paper presented at the Cognition in Context Open Research Seminar, University of Wolverhampton, UK.

Logsdail, J., Dando, C. J., Ormerod, T. C., & Mercer, T. (2015, September). Retrieval-induced forgetting and eyewitness memory in a real world context. Poster presented at the BPS West Midlands Branch Conference Annual Conference 2015, Welcome Centre, Coventry, UK.

Logsdail, J., Dando, C. J., Ormerod, T. C., & Mercer, T. (2015, May). Retrieval-induced forgetting and eyewitness memory in a real world context. Poster presented at the BPS Annual Conference, ACC Liverpool, UK.

Mercer, T. (2014, July). Temporally distinct visual memories are not forgotten over the short-term. Paper presented at the Meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society, University of Newcastle.

Duffy, P., Mercer, T., Niechcial, M., & Plumb, A. (2014, July). Active maintenance and passive loss of short-term visual memories: Is there a role for temporal decay? Poster presented at the Meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society, University of Newcastle, UK.

Mercer, T. (2013). Preserving short-term memories over the passage of time. Paper to be presented at the University of Wolverhampton Psychology Research Conference, December 2013.

Mercer, T. (2013). Why do we forget information over short-periods of time? Paper presented at the University of Wolverhampton Early Researcher Award Scheme Conference, University of Wolverhampton, June 2013.

Mercer, T. (2012). Does wakeful resting protect recent memories from retroactive interference? Paper presented at the University of Wolverhampton Psychology Research Conference, December 2012.

Mercer, T., & McKeown, D. (2012). Time and forgetting in non-verbal memory. Paper presented at the University of Wolverhampton Open Research Seminar Series, March 2012.

McKeown, D., & Mercer, T. (2011). Auditory spectral memories persist in the absence of verbal rehearsal. Paper presented at the BPS Cognitive Psychology Section Annual Conference, Keele University, September 2011. 

Mercer, T., & McKeown, D. (2010). Novelty-based interference in auditory short-term memory. Proceedings of the Experimental Psychology Society 2010. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63, 2452-2480. 

Mercer, T., & McKeown, D. (2009). Tracking auditory memories over thirty-two seconds. Paper presented at the BPS Cognitive Psychology Section Annual Conference, University of Hertfordshire, September 2009.

Mercer, T., & McKeown, D. (2008). Timbre and the effects of pre-trial cues. Proceedings of the Experimental Psychology Society 2008. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61, 1897-1907.    

Mercer, T. (2008). Interference effects and the role of grouping in timbre memories. Paper presented at the Postgraduate Conference, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, September 2008

Previous professional experience

Lecturer in Psychology (September 2011 – August 2016)                       University University of Wolverhampton

 

Demonstrator in Psychology (January – August 2011)                           University University of Wolverhampton

 

Postgraduate Teaching Assistant (October 2007 – May 2010)                University University of Leeds