Relationship Between Measures of Working Memory Capacity and the Time Course of Short-Term Memory Retrieval and Interference Resolution

Ilke Öztekin, Brian McElree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The response-signal speed-accuracy trade-off (SAT) procedure was used to investigate the relationship between measures of working memory capacity and the time course of short-term item recognition. High- and low-span participants studied sequentially presented 6-item lists, immediately followed by a recognition probe. Analyses of composite list and serial position SAT functions found no differences in retrieval speed between the 2 span groups. Overall accuracy was higher for high spans than low spans, with more pronounced differences for earlier serial positions. Analysis of false alarms to recent negatives (lures from the previous study list) revealed no differences in the timing or magnitude of early false alarms, thought to reflect familiarity-based judgments. However, analyses of false alarms later in retrieval indicated that recollective information accrues more slowly for low spans, which suggests that recollective information may also contribute less to judgments concerning studied items for low-span participants. These findings can provide an explanation for the greater susceptibility of low spans to interference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-397
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Keywords

  • interference
  • recent negative
  • short-term item recognition
  • speed-accuracy trade-off procedure
  • working memory capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

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