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Serial position curves in short‐term memory: Functional equivalence across modalities

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Four experiments investigated item and order memory for sequences of seen unfamiliar faces and heard nonwords. Experiments 1 and 3 found bowed serial position curves using the serial reconstruction test of order with faces and nonwords, respectively. Experiments 2 and 4 found limited recency, no primacy, and above chance performance on all items using a two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) test of item recognition, again with faces and nonwords. These results suggest that the different serial position curves typically found using traditional paradigms for exploring visual and verbal short-term memory are due to differences in the methods used rather than modality-specific mechanisms.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Essex, Colchester, UK

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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