Sentence comprehension is mediated by content-addressable memory structures

Brian McElree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies of working memory demonstrate that some forms of information are retrieved by a content-addressable mechanism (McElree & Dosher, 1989; McElree, 1996, 1998), whereas others require a slower search-based mechanism (McElree & Dosher, 1993). Measures of the speed and accuracy of processing sentences with filler-gap dependencies demonstrate that the probability of maintaining a representation of a filler item decreases as additional material is processed, but that the speed with which a preserved representation is accessed is unaffected by the amount of interpolated material. These results suggest that basic binding operations in sentence comprehension are mediated by a content-addressable memory system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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