Research Interests

Efficacy of 'Brain Training' with an emphasis on the training of working memory.

Methodological aspects of assessing Working Memory and other Executive Functions. Structure of EFs and construct validity of N-Back.

Advancing the availability of commonly used computerised tests of cognition.


Conference Presentations

Experimental Psychology Society Meeting, Leeds UK, April 8-10 2015.
Stone, J. M., and Towse, J. N. (2015). - Working memory capacity and the transfer of training benefits: searching for the Holy Grail.


Working memory has been shown to be relevant to individual differences in fluid intelligence (Conway, Cowan, Bunting, Therriault, & Minkoff, 2002), and play a role in atypical cognitive development (Alloway, 2009). So the possibility that working memory capacity is trainable, and that such changes will generalize is highly noteworthy. There are now several claims that working memory training can lead to both near and far transfer benefits, with commercial products based on the premise that working memory can be trained. However, some analyses cast doubt on training benefits (Melby-Lervag & Hulme, 2013) and there are methodological limitations in some training study designs. We present results from two working memory training studies among children, aged 9-11, that attempt to address methodological concerns and resolve interpretive questions. We find almost no evidence to suggest generalisable (far-transfer) effects of training working memory, and even near-transfer effects are inconsistent. In study one participants were given a 'cocktail' of WM based training tasks, in study two participants were given a specific regimen of training tasks. We suggest that working memory training effects may result from strategy changes more than from enduring changes in functional learning capacity.

Greater Yorkshire Memory Meeting, York UK, December 17 2015.
Stone, J. M. (2015). - Using tatool to create open-source experimental tasks - An introduction and overview of available working memory and executive function software.


An introduction to the experimental software scripting tool - tatool. I will discuss what makes tatool extremely useful in a crowded 'marketplace' in order to raise awareness of the software, but also to preface a discussion of the flexible open source cognitive tests available here.

Upcoming Publications

Papers Submitted

Conference Presentations

Cognitive Test Battery

Please visit my project website if you are interested in, or are looking for, computerised tests of various aspects of cognition. There you will find software that runs on Java and is entirely open source.

Browser Based Tasks

Tatool-Web is a web based implementation of the original Java based Tatool project which I have used in this project. This is a great open source tool that can be used to run experimental paradigms in the browser, either in the lab or remotely. Use the following link to see easily try demo versions of some of the tasks I have used using tatool-web - demo tasks here.

Want to demonstrate tasks to your students that they may be reading about in class? Try this project. Link your students to that page and ask them to complete a task. Simple summary information is presented at the end so that students can see how they did and as a class exercise the data may be aggregated and analysed.

          Psyc Hangman


This was coded from an exercise from the JQuery section of Codecademy.

Category: Psychology
Guess A Letter!
Guessed Letters

              Memory Cannon



  • There are two sets of colored blocks shown to you at the start of the game:
    • The blocks to the right of the canvas are the targets.
    • The blocks at the bottom show you the order in which you must shoot the blocks.

  • You fire a cannon by clicking anywhere on the canvas, a cannonball will fire in the direction of your click.

  • The sequence in which you must hit the blocks will only be shown to you for a short amount of time, once the sequence disappears you can begin firing cannonballs.

  • If you destroy the blocks in the correct order you advance to the next level, if you do not you lose.