Randall W. Engle

Randall W. Engle

General Information


Professor of Psychology

Interim Director, Center for Advanced Brain Imaging

Research Area

Cognition and Brain Science


Ph.D. (1973) Experimental Psychology
The Ohio State University

alt.img re23@prism.gatech.edu
J S J S Coon building 348
Researcher Webpage
Attention and Working Memory Lab


I am interested working memory capacity and the relationship of that concept to the concept of attention control. I have argued that individual differences in the construct measured as working memory capacity reflects differences in the ability to control attention to internally generated and externally elicited representations and that differences in this ability is an important component of general fluid intelligence (Engle & Kane, 2004). I have also entertained the likelihood that these differences reflect functioning of the normal frontal lobes which in turn reflect genetic differences in the regulation of dopamine and possibly other neurotransmitters.


  • American Psychological Association (Fellow)
  • American Psychological Society (Fellow)
  • Psychonomic Society
  • Society of Experimental Psychologists
  • Memory Disorders Research Society

Selected publications

  • Unsworth, N. & Engle, R. W. (in press). The nature of individual differences in working memory capacity:  Active maintenance in primary memory and controlled search from secondary memory.  Psychological Review. 
  • Feldman-Barrett, L., Tugade, M. M., & Engle, R. W. (2004). Individual differences in working memory capacity and dual-process theories of the mind. Psychological Bulletin, 130, 553-573.
  • Engle, R. W., & Kane, M. J. (2004). Executive attention, working memory capacity, and a two-factor theory of cognitive control. In strong. Ross (Ed.). The psychology of learning and motivation 44, 145-199. NY: Elsevier.
  • Kane, M. J., Hambrick, D. Z., Tuholski, S. W., Wilhelm, O., Payne, T. W., & Engle, R. W. (2004). The generality of working memory capacity: A latent variable approach to verbal and visuospatial memory span and reasoning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 189-217.
  • Hambrick, D. Z., & Engle, R. W. (2003). The role of working memory in problem solving. In J. E. Davidson & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), The psychology of problem solving (pp. 176-206). London: Cambridge Press.
  • Kane, M. J., & Engle, R. W. (2003). Working memory capacity and the control of attention: The contributions of goal neglect, response competition, and task set to Stroop interference. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 132, 47-70.
  • Mecklinger, A., Weber, K., Gunter, T. C., & Engle, R. W. (in press). Dissociable brain mechanisms for inhibitory control: Effects of interference content and working memory capacity. Cognitive Brain Research.
  • Engle, R. W. (2002). Working memory capacity as executive attention. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 19-23.
  • Hambrick, D. Z., & Engle, R. W. (2002). Effects of domain knowledge, working memory capacity, and age on cognitive performance: An investigation of the knowledge-is-power hypothesis. Cognitive Psychology, 44, 339-387.
  • Kane, M. J. (2002, November). Working memory capacity as a unitary attentional construct. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Kansas City, MO.
  • Kane, M. J., & Engle, R. W. (2002). The role of prefrontal cortex in working-memory capacity, executive attention, and general fluid intelligence: An individual differences perspective. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 9, 637-671.