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Working memory was designed to explain four benchmark memory effects: the word length effect, the irrelevant speech effect, the acoustic confusion effect, and the concurrent articulation effect. However, almost all research thus far has used tests that emphasize forward recall. In four experiments, we examine whether each effect is observable when the items(More)
The word length effect, the finding that words that have fewer syllables are recalled better than otherwise comparable words that have more syllables, is one of the benchmark effects that must be accounted for in any model of serial recall, and simulation models of immediate memory rely heavily on the finding. However, previous research has shown that the(More)
The word length effect, the finding that words that have fewer syllables are recalled better than otherwise comparable words that have more syllables, is one of the benchmark effects that must be accounted for in any model of serial recall, and simulation models of immediate memory rely heavily on the finding. However, previous research has shown that the(More)
It is well established that rote rehearsal plays a key role in serial memory for lists of verbal items. Although a great deal of research has informed us about the nature of verbal rehearsal, much less attention has been devoted to rehearsal in serial memory for visual-spatial information. By using the dot task--a visual-spatial analogue of the classical(More)
The word length effect, the finding that lists of short words are better recalled than lists of long words, has been termed one of the benchmark findings that any theory of immediate memory must account for. Indeed, the effect led directly to the development of working memory and the phonological loop, and it is viewed as the best remaining evidence for(More)
Immediate serial recall of visually presented verbal stimuli is impaired by the presence of irrelevant auditory background speech, the so-called irrelevant speech effect. Two of the three main accounts of this effect place restrictions on when it will be observed, limiting its occurrence either to items processed by the phonological loop (the phonological(More)
Two experiments examined the effects of visual similarity on short-term recall for where and when in the visual spatial domain. A series of squares of similar or dissimilar colours were serially presented at various locations on the screen. At recall, all coloured squares were simultaneously presented in a random order at the bottom of the screen, and the(More)
This research investigated the nature of encoding and its contribution to serial recall for visual-spatial information. In order to do so, we examined the relationship between fixation duration and recall performance. Using the dot task--a series of seven dots spatially distributed on a monitor screen is presented sequentially for immediate(More)
Proactive interference (PI) occurs when an earlier item interferes with memory for a newer item. Whereas some researchers (e.g., Surprenant & Neath, 2009a) argue that PI can be observed in all memory systems, some multiple systems theorists (e.g., Cowan, 1999) propose that items in the focus of attention of working memory are immune to PI. Two experiments(More)
Jalbert, Neath, Bireta, and Surprenant (2011) suggested that past demonstrations of the word length effect, the finding that words with fewer syllables are recalled better than words with more syllables, included a confound: The short words had more orthographic neighbors than the long words. The experiments reported here test two predictions that would(More)