Inferring decay in short-term memory: The issue of capacity

  title={Inferring decay in short-term memory: The issue of capacity},
  author={Henry L Roediger and James L. Knight and Barry H. Kantowitz},
  journal={Memory \& Cognition},
Experiments examining the issue of decay in short-term memory have assumed a single undifferentiated source of processing capacity which cannot be devoted to rehearsal when consumed in the processing of a nonverbal interpolated task. Three experiments reported here call this logic into question, since variations in difficulty in the nonverbal interpolated task failed to affect recall. Slight forgetting produced by a nonverbal interpolated task, relative to a no interpolated task control, was… Expand
In search of decay in verbal short-term memory.
The results of these studies indicate that short-term memories are subject to very small decay effects with the mere passage of time but that interference plays a much larger role in their degradation. Expand
Memory, Interference and Depression.
Is forgetting in the short-term due to decay with the mere passage of time, interference from other memoranda, or both? Past research on short-term memory (STM) has revealed some evidence for decayExpand
1. Short-Term Memory Limits in Human Performance
Publisher Summary This chapter describes theoretical studies on distraction and capacity limits. This theoretical material forms the background for the subsequent discussion of human factorsExpand
Recognizing the Role of Consistency in a Delayed Memory Task
Past research on short-term memory decay has found that participants are more efficient at remembering information when the delay between stimuli presentation and recall is short as opposed to long.Expand
The mind and brain of short-term memory.
A conceptual model tracing the representation of a single item through a short-term memory task is described, describing the biological mechanisms that might support psychological processes on a moment-by-moment basis as an item is encoded, maintained over a delay with some forgetting, and ultimately retrieved. Expand
Absence of adult age differences in forgetting in the Brown-Peterson Task.
It is concluded that age differences are minimal to nonexistent in passive RI-related processes such as decay and perturbation and in passive PI-related process such as set effects in semantic encoding. Expand
Evolving conceptions of memory storage, selective attention, and their mutual constraints within the human information-processing system.
  • N. Cowan
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Psychological bulletin
  • 1988
The purpose of this review is to formulate a revised model of information processing that takes into account recent research on memory storage, selective attention, effortful versus automaticExpand
On the Use of a Concurrent Memory Load to Measure Attention and Automaticity
The concurrent-memory-load technique identifies attention demands with interactions between reaction-time-task parameters and the size of the load. Three experiments with a total of 18 undergraduatesExpand
Absence of age-related proneness to short-term retroactive interference in the absence of rehearsal.
There is no interference proneness with increasing age in the present study, and age differences in short-term retroactive interference were not found in a cross-sectional study of adults 18-32 and 64-78 years of age. Expand
Individual differences in secondary task performance
The purpose of this research was to use secondary task performance as a predictor of performance on a difficult primary task. Reaction time (RT) to secondary probes that occurred during the rehearsalExpand


Mechanisms of forgetting in short-term memory.
Abstract This paper introduces a technique applicable to the question: Does information in short-term memory disappear with time? The technique appears to eliminate Ss' rehearsal in the retentionExpand
Short-term memory for words with a perceptual-motor interpolated activity,
It was maintained that the Brown-Peterson short-term memory (STM) task bears important similarities to procedures used in the study of division of attention, since during STM retention intervalsExpand
Without surreptitious rehearsal, information in short-term memory decay
Reitman (1971) found that subjects could retain three words perfectly for 15 sec while detecting tones in noise and supposedly avoiding rehearsal. These results were taken to indicate lack of supportExpand
Some Tests of the Decay Theory of Immediate Memory
The hypothesis of decay of the memory trace as a cause of forgetting has been unpopular. The reasons for this unpopularity are criticized and a theory of the memory span, based on this hypothesis, isExpand
Testing tapping timesharing, II: Auditory secondary task.
Two experiments were conducted to extend earlier time-sharing results of Kantowitz and Knight (1974) and support a hybrid processing model with serial and parallel arrangements of stages. Expand
Proactive inhibition in short-term retention of single items
Summary Three experiments were performed to determine the relationship between certain variables influencing proactive inhibition in long-term retention of lists of verbal items and the influence ofExpand
The information capacity of the human motor system in controlling the amplitude of movement.
  • P. Fitts
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Journal of experimental psychology
  • 1954
The motor system in the present case is defined as including the visual and proprioceptive feedback loops that permit S to monitor his own activity, and the information capacity of the motor system is specified by its ability to produce consistently one class of movement from among several alternative movement classes. Expand
Processing demands during mental operations
  • B. Kerr
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Memory & cognition
  • 1973
The secondary task technique uses the interference between a primary task and a secondary task to assess the extent to which the primary task makes processing demands on the central limited system. Expand
Human information processing : tutorials in performance and cognition
The present volume, by utilizing a tutorial approach, covers some seven discrete regions within the general domain of human information processing. What does this volume convey that is truly unique,Expand
On data-limited and resource-limited processes
The principles discussed show that conclusions about the interactions among psychological processes must be made with caution, and some existing assumptions may be unwarranted, as well as resulting in some new interpretations of interactions among competing psychological processes. Expand