Edward Awh, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychology and The College
IMB Member (since 2015)


Edward Awh, Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of Psychology and The College. He is a member of the Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology, and Human Behavior. Awh received a BA in Psychology from Northwestern University and MA and Ph.D. in Psychology from University of Michigan. He completed his dissertation research in the laboratories of John Jonides and Edward E. Smith at Michigan. Awh did his postdoctoral research at the Center for Human Information Processing at University of California, San Diego.

Prior to UChicago, Awh held a faculty appointment in the Department of Psychology and the Institute for Neuroscience at University of Oregon.

About the Awh Lab
The Awh laboratory focuses on the cognitive neuroscience of memory and attention. More specifically, the lab focuses on “online” representations that can be held active in mind in the service of ongoing cognitive tasks. A central finding in these studies is that individuals are strongly limited in their ability to maintain more than a handful of these online representations at a time. Moreover, this capacity limit varies substantially across individuals and is a strong predictor of broad measures of intellectual function such as IQ and scholastic achievement. Thus, there is strong motivation to understand the nature of this capacity limit and the reasons why it varies across individuals. To this end, the Awh lab employs both behavioral and neural measures during the performance of challenging cognitive tasks, with the broader goal of moving towards a mechanistic neural model of cognitive capacity limits.
Research Interests
Working memory, attention, neural decoding, individual differences in cognitive ability