Short-term memory span: insights from sign language

  title={Short-term memory span: insights from sign language},
  author={Mrim Boutla and Ted Supalla and Elissa L. Newport and Daphne Bavelier},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
Short-term memory (STM), or the ability to hold information in mind for a few seconds, is thought to be limited in its capacity to about 7 ± 2 items. Notably, the average STM capacity when using American Sign Language (ASL) rather than English is only 5 ± 1 items. Here we show that, contrary to previous interpretations, this difference cannot be attributed to phonological factors, item duration or reduced memory abilities in deaf people. We also show that, despite this difference in STM span… CONTINUE READING


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