ZiF Research Group

Cognitive Behavior of Humans, Animals, and Machines:

Situation Model Perspectives

October 2019 – July 2020

Convenors: Werner Schneider (Bielefeld, GER), Helge Ritter (Bielefeld, GER)

Klaus Oberauer


Foto Cognitive Psychology,
University of Zurich, Switzerland
E-Mail: k.oberauer@psychologie.uzh.ch


I have studied Psychology at Free University Berlin, and received my PhD from University of Heidelberg in 1995. After many productive years in Reinhold Kliegl's lab at the University of Potsdam I held a Chair at the University of Bristol (2005-2009). Since 2009 I am Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Zurich.

Current Main Research Interests

My team's research focuses on the limits of human cognitive abilities, and in particular the capacity limits of working memory and attention. In essence, we ask: Why are people not smarter than they are? We study these questions through a combination of behavioral experiments, individual-differences studies, and computational modeling.

Five selected publications with particular relevance to the Research Group
  • Oberauer, K., & Lin, H. Y. (2017). An interference model of visual working memory. Psychological Review, 124, 21-59.
  • Oberauer, K., Farrell, S., Jarrold, C., & Lewandowsky, S. (2016). What limits working memory capacity? Psychological Bulletin, 142, 758-799.
  • Oberauer, K., Souza, A. S., Druey, M. D., & Gade, M. (2013). Analogous mechanisms of selection and updating in declarative and procedural working memory: Experiments and a computational model. Cognitive Psychology, 66, 157-211.
  • Oberauer, K., Lewandowsky, S., Farrell, S., Jarrold, C., & Greaves, M. (2012). Modeling working memory: An interference model of complex span. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19, 779-819.
  • Oberauer, K. (2009). Design for a working memory. In B. H. Ross (Ed.), Advances in research and theory (Vol. 51, pp. 45-100). doi:10.1016/S0079-7421(09)51002-X