Functional Equivalence of Verbal and Spatial Information in Serial Short-Term Memory

Dylan Jones, Paul Farrand, George Stuart, Neil Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Performance on a test of serial memory for the spatial position of a sequence of dots showed similarities to typical results from the serial recall of verbal material: a marked increase in error with increasing list length, a modest rise in error as retention interval increased, and bow-shaped serial position curves. This task was susceptible to interference from both a spatial task (rote tapping) and a verbal task (mouthed articulatory suppression) and also from the presence of irrelevant speech. Effects were comparable to those found with a serial verbal task that was generally similar in demand characteristics to the spatial task. As a generalization, disruption of the serial recall of visuospatial material was more marked if the interference conditions involved a changing sequence of actions or materials, but not if a single event (tap, mouthed utterance, or sound) was repeated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1018
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes


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