What Was Where? Memory for Object Locations

Authors: Postma, Albert; Haan, Edward H.F. De

Source: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A, 1 February 1996, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 178-199(22)


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Three experiments are reported on short-term memory for object location. Stimulus displays containing different numbers and types of objects were presented for 30 seconds, after which subjects were required to relocate the various objects within the display, merely to reconstruct positions, or to assign objects correctly to an equal number of premarked positions. In all experiments half the trials were performed with concurrent articulatory suppression. The results support the hypothesis that two processes can be distinguished: one that underlies the construction of a positional map and one that assigns objects to positions. These processes are differentially affected by object numbers and articulatory suppression. This hypothesis is discussed in terms of Baddeley's (1986) working memory model and Kosslyn's (1987) distinction between ''categorical'' and ''coordinate'' spatial relations.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713755605

Publication date: February 1, 1996

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