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Direction of Report in Spatial and Verbal Serial Short term Memory

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Four experiments examined the role played by item and order information in determining the effects of order of report of a sequence from short-term memory. Experiments in which list items were re-presented prior to recall so that only their order had to be reported showed no differences in performance between the forward and backward direction of report. This result was found with lists of auditory-verbal, visual-verbal, and spatial stimuli. When the list items were not re-presented, so that recall of both items and order was required, recall in the backward direction of report was significantly worse than in the forward direction of report, both in spatial and verbal tasks. The results point to the symmetry of inter-item associations, though only equivocally so, but they suggest strongly that the processes of spatial and verbal serial recall share many functional characteristics.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 1996


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