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Tactile Ranschburg effects: facilitation and inhibitory repetition effects analogous to verbal memory

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The present paper examines the effect of within-sequence item repetitions in tactile order memory. Employing an immediate serial recall procedure, participants reconstructed a six-item sequence tapped upon their fingers by moving those fingers in the order of original stimulation. In Experiment 1a, within-sequence repetition of an item separated by two-intervening items resulted in a significant reduction in recall accuracy for that repeated item (i.e., the Ranschburg effect). In Experiment 1b, within-sequence repetition of an adjacent item resulted in significant recall facilitation for that repeated item. These effects mirror those reported for verbal stimuli (e.g., Henson, 1998a. Item repetition in short-term memory: Ranschburg repeated. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 24(5), 1162–1181. doi:doi.org/10.1037/0278-7393.24.5.1162). These data are the first to demonstrate the Ranschburg effect with non-verbal stimuli and suggest further cross-modal similarities in order memory.
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Keywords: Ranschburg effect; Tactile memory; order memory; response suppression; serial position effects

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science & Technology, Bournemouth University, Poole, UK

Publication date: July 3, 2017

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