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Capacity limits in list item recognition: Evidence from proactive interference

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Capacity limits in short-term recall were investigated using proactive interference (PI) from previous lists in a speeded-recognition task. PI was taken to indicate that the target list length surpassed working memory capacity. Unlike previous studies, words were presented either concurrently or sequentially and a new method was introduced to increase the amount of PI. On average, participants retrieved about four items without PI. We suggest an activation-based account of capacity limits.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Missouri, Columbia, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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