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Role of serial order in the impact of talker variability on short-term memory: testing a perceptual organization-based account

Hughes, Robert Wyn, Marsh, John E. and Jones, Dylan Marc 2011. Role of serial order in the impact of talker variability on short-term memory: testing a perceptual organization-based account. Memory & Cognition 39 (8) , pp. 1435-1447. 10.3758/s13421-011-0116-x

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In two experiments, we examined the impact of the degree of match between sequential auditory perceptual organization processes and the demands of a short-term memory task (memory for order vs. item information). When a spoken sequence of digits was presented so as to promote its perceptual partitioning into two distinct streams by conveying it in alternating female (F) and male (M) voices (FMFMFMFM)—thereby disturbing the perception of true temporal order—recall of item order was greatly impaired (as compared to recall of item identity). Moreover, an order error type consistent with the formation of voice-based streams was committed more quickly in the alternating-voice condition (Exp. 1). In contrast, when the perceptual organization of the sequence mapped well onto an optimal two-group serial rehearsal strategy—by presenting the two voices in discrete clusters (FFFFMMMM)—order, but not item, recall was enhanced (Exp. 2). The results are consistent with the view that the degree of compatibility between perceptual and deliberate sequencing processes is a key determinant of serial short-term memory performance. Alternative accounts of talker variability effects in short-term memory, based on the concept of a dedicated phonological short-term store and a capacity-limited focus of attention, are also reviewed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Short term memory – Talker variability – Serial recall – Perceptual organization
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0090-502X
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2020 15:41

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