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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Working
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Naoyuki Osaka, Robert H. Logie, and Mark D'Esposito

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198570394

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198570394.001.0001

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The interpretation of temporal isolation effects

The interpretation of temporal isolation effects

(p.137) 8 The interpretation of temporal isolation effects
The Cognitive Neuroscience of Working Memory

Stephan Lewandowsky

Tarryn Wright

Gordon D. A. Brown

Oxford University Press

Although the broader concept of working memory has replaced the more traditional focus on short-term verbal memory, there remain significant research questions about how humans achieve temporary retention of verbal material, and particularly serial order. This chapter focuses on the role of timing in the presentation of verbal material for immediate ordered serial recall. There is an established finding that items which are temporally isolated from other items in the list are rather better recalled. This finding is one source of support for models that view temporal markers as important for retaining and reproducing serial order. This chapter also argues that these results can be interpreted as reflecting alternative encoding strategies for items that stand out from the list because of the timing of presentation. Therefore, timing itself might not be crucial, and selective encoding strategies might be more important for recall success.

Keywords:   verbal memory, serial order, serial recall, selective encoding

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