Immediate memory span and speed of memory search were assessed for words and nonwords of short and long spoken duration. Memory span was substantially greater for words than for nonwords and for short than for long items, though speed of memory search was unaffected by either length or lexicality. An analysis of the temporal pattern of responses in the memory span task indicated that inter-item pauses were longer between nonwords than words but that these pause durations were unaffected by item length. A model of verbal short-term memory span is described in which trace selection from a short-term store and the redintegration (restoration) of degraded phonological traces both occur in the pauses between saying successive items. Both trace selection and trace redintegration appear to play important roles in accounting for individual differences in memory span.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1999|