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Dr David Greeno

Dr David Greeno

Research Associate


Verbal short-term memory (vSTM) refers to the ability by which information such as speech or written text is stored and, after a short delay, retrieved. The ability to temporarily store and retrieve information is thought to underpin critical cognitive functions such as sentence comprehension and reasoning/decision making. Therefore, understanding vSTM should lead to greater understanding of cognition more generally.

I am interested in understanding how we remember (and forget) new information and in attempting to understand the processes that underpin this.


Postgraduate education

  • 2020: PhD 'The (Questionable) Role of Neighbourhood Density in Verbal Short-Term Memory’ – School of Psychology, Cardiff University.
  • 2014: MSc Psychological Research Methods – School of Psychology, University of Plymouth.

Undergraduate education

  • 2013: BSc (Hons) Psychology – School of Psychology, University of Plymouth.

Professional Memberships

  • Associate Fellow of the HEA (AFHEA).


  • 2020 - present: ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Psychology, Cardiff University.
  • 2018: Research Assistant, School of Psychology, Cardiff University.
  • 2015-2019: Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), School of Psychology, Cardiff University.

Research topics

Remembering information over the short-term is often explained by relying on the classical distinction between long-term memory and short-term memory with forgetting occurring due to processes operating within a short-term memory store such as interference or decay. Key phenomena such as the word-length effect, lexicality effect and the frequency effect are all used as evidence of a distinct short-term memory store and as evidence of the processes proposed to operate within it. My research considers that performance in verbal short-term memory (vSTM) tasks can instead be reinterpreted in terms of the use of more general perceptual and motor skills and that, rather than processes operating within a distinct short-term memory store, it is actually the opportunistic use of these skills that causes such short-term memory phenomena to emerge.

An understanding of vSTM theory and methodology has also enabled me to work closely (via an industry placement) with The Cyber Lab contained within The Airbus Cyber Innovation Hub (a joint initiative between Airbus and Welsh Government to drive and deliver ground-breaking innovation in Wales). Contained within the Cyber Lab is a Human-Centric Cyber Security Team that explore areas such as identifying susceptibilities to certain security risks and designing strategies that enable individuals to become the best defence for future risks. Recent interest in the utilisation of vSTM tasks/theory in these areas has already led to a number of key findings and recommendations and provided an excellent opportunity in which to bridge my knowledge of vSTM with cutting edge research into cyber security.


2020-2021: Greeno, D. (Fellow), Morey, C.C. (prinicpal mentor), & Morgan, P. (co-mentor). ESRC Post-doctoral fellowship. Applying principles of verbal short-term memory to cyber security research. £102,888.