Scientific article
Open access

The influence of rhythm on short-term memory for serial order

ContributorsGorin, Simon
Publication date2020

In the field of verbal short-term memory (STM), numerous theoretical models have been proposed to explain how serial order information is processed and represented. Evidence suggests that serial order is represented through associations between items and a varying contextual signal coding the position of each item in a sequence, but the nature of this contextual signal is still a matter of debate (i.e., event-based vs. time-based varying signal). According to event-based models of serial order, the contextual signal coding serial order is not sensitive to temporal manipulations, as it is the case in irregularly timed sequences. Up to now, the study of the temporal factors influencing serial order STM has been limited to temporal grouping and temporal isolation effects. The goal of the present study is to specify in more detail the role played by temporal factors in serial order STM tasks. To accomplish this, we compared recall performance and error patterns for sequences presenting items at a regular or an irregular and unpredictable timing in three experiments. The results showed that irregular timing does not affect serial recall nor the pattern of errors. These data clearly favour the view that serial order in verbal STM is represented with event-based rather than time-based codes.

  • Serial recall
  • Timing
  • Temporal regularity
  • Working memory
Citation (ISO format)
GORIN, Simon. The influence of rhythm on short-term memory for serial order. In: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2020, p. 1–22. doi: 10.1177/1747021820941358
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal1747-0218

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