Brooke Macnamara

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

My research crosses multiple levels of investigation from high-level studies of complex human performance to lower-level investigations of working memory processes.

Skill acquisition and expertise: Skill acquisition/expertise is often studied from one of two perspectives: 1) focusing on experiential (e.g., practice) and other environmental factors as predictors of performance, or 2) focusing on the roles of domain-general abilities as predictors of performance. I not only investigate the contribution of both types of predictors on performance variance, but also investigate how and when the relative contribution of each predictor varies. Of particular interest is the interplay between performance predictors and task demands such as the complexity, constraints, information updating requirements, and the predictability of the task environment.

Communication: In order to communicate information to another, we often need to engage perspective-taking mechanisms that rely on cognitive control. This can be more or less difficult depending on a variety of contextual factors. I am interested in which contextual factors heighten or mitigate cognitive load while communicating and the effects of cognitive load on perspective-taking during communication.

Bilingualism: The bilingual advantage–enhanced cognitive control among bilinguals relative to monolinguals–has generated years of interesting research. However, both the source of the advantage, and the reason for inconsistent results remains unclear. I am interested in the role of a) bilingual management demands such as amount of language conflict and the degree to which the environment cues both languages and b) experience managing those demands, in influencing the magnitude and type of cognitive control mechanisms that become enhanced. I am also interested in predictors of skill acquisition and expertise in complex bilingual processing tasks such as simultaneous interpreting.

Working memory: Working memory is thought of in multiple ways, such as one’s ability to maintain information in the face of interference, or one’s ability to concurrently maintain and transform information. My research investigates the mechanisms of working memory (e.g., attentional control and retrieval processes) and the extent to which these mechanisms are recruited depending on the demands of the task. Working memory and other cognitive constructs underlie numerous higher-level processes, including those engaged in communication, bilingual management, and many aspects of skill acquisition.

Current Projects

I am currently investigating the role of “deliberate practice” on performance, mechanisms of cognitive control, and effects of thinking in a foreign language.

 

Current Graduate Research Assistants

Michael King

 

Recent Publications

Burgoyne, A. P., Sala, G., Gobet, F., Macnamara, B. N., Campitelli, G., & Hambrick, D. Z. (in press). The relationship between cognitive ability and chess skill: A comprehensive meta-analysis. Intelligence.

Macnamara, B. N. & Conway, A. R. A. (in press). Working memory capacity as a predictor of simultaneous language interpreting performance. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.

Hambrick, D. Z., Burgoyne, A., Campitelli, G., & Macnamara, B. N. (in press). Working memory, thinking, and expertise. In L. J. Ball & V. A. Thompson (Eds.), International Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning. New York: Psychology Press.

Macnamara, B. N., Hambrick, D. Z., & Moreau, D. (2016). How important is deliberate practice? Reply to Ericsson (2016). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11, 355-358.

Macnamara, B. N., Moreau, D., Hambrick, D. Z. (2016). The relationship between deliberate practice and performance in sports: A meta-analysis. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11, 333-350.

Chow, M. A., Macnamara, B. N., & Conway, A. R. A. (2016). Phonological similarity in working memory span tasks. Memory & Cognition, 1-13.

Hambrick, D. Z., Macnamara, B. N., Campitelli, G., Ullén, F., & Mosing, M. (2016). A new look at expertise: Beyond the experts are born vs. made debate. In B. Ross (Ed.), Psychology of Learning and Motivation, Volume 64 (pp. 1-55). Oxford: Elsevier.

Hambrick, D. Z. & Macnamara, B. N. (2016). Expertise. In S. K. Whitbourne (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging (1-6). Malden, Oxford: John Wiley and Sons.

Macnamara, B.N., Hambrick, D.Z., & Oswald, F.L. (2014). Deliberate practice and performance in music, games, sports, professions, and education: A meta-analysis. Psychological Science. Published online ahead of print.

Hambrick, D.Z. & Macnamara, B.N. (2014). Expertise. In D. K. Simonton (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Macnamara, B.N. & Conway, A.R.A. (2014). Novel evidence in support of the bilingual advantage: Influence of task demands and experience on cognitive control and working memory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21(2), 520-525.

Macnamara, B.N., Hambrick, D.Z., & Oswald, F.L. (2014). Deliberate practice and performance in music, games, sports, professions, and education: A meta-analysis. Psychological Science. Published online ahead of print.

Hambrick, D.Z. & Macnamara, B.N. (2014). Expertise. In D. K. Simonton (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Macnamara, B.N. & Conway, A.R.A. (2014). Novel evidence in support of the bilingual advantage: Influence of task demands and experience on cognitive control and working memory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21(2), 520-525.

Conway, A.R.A., Macnamara, B.N., & Engel de Abreu, P.M.J. (2013). Working memory and intelligence: An overview, in T. Alloway (Ed.) Working memory: The new intelligence. London: Psychology Press.

Conway, A.R.A., Macnamara, B.N., & Engel de Abreu, P.M.J. (2013). Working memory and intelligence: An overview, in T. Alloway (Ed.) Working memory: The new intelligence. London: Psychology Press.

Macnamara, B.N., Moore, A.B., Kegl, J.A., & Conway, A.R.A. (2011). Domain-general cognitive abilities and simultaneous interpreting skill. Interpreting, 13(1), 121-142.

Macnamara, B.N., Moore, A.B., & Conway, A.R.A. (2011). Phonological similarity effects in simple and complex span tasks. Memory & Cognition, 39(7), 1174-1186.

Conway, A.R.A., Getz, S.J, Macnamara, B.N., & Engel de Abreu, P.M.J. (2011). Working memory and intelligence. In R.J. Sternberg & S.B. Kaufman (Eds.),The Cambridge handbook of intelligence. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Macnamara, B.N., Moore, A.B., & Conway, A.R.A. (2011). Phonological similarity effects in simple and complex span tasks. Memory & Cognition, 39(7), 1174-1186.

Conway, A.R.A., Getz, S.J, Macnamara, B.N., & Engel de Abreu, P.M.J. (2011). Working memory and intelligence. In R.J. Sternberg & S.B. Kaufman (Eds.),The Cambridge handbook of intelligence. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Macnamara, B.N., Moore, A.B., Kegl, J.A., & Conway, A.R.A. (2011). Domain-general cognitive abilities and simultaneous interpreting skill. Interpreting, 13(1), 121-142.

Macnamara, B.N. (2009). Interpreter cognitive aptitudes. Journal of Interpretation, 2008-2009, 9-32.

Download / View CV

Contact

bnm24@case.edu
216.368.2681
Mather Memorial Building 131A
http://caslabs.case.edu/macnamaralabs/

Other Information

Degree: B.A. - Columbia College Chicago, M.A. - Union Institute & University, M.A. - Princeton University, Ph.D. - Princeton University

Education: Ph.D. - Princeton University

Specialty: Psychology