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Language and short-term memory: The role of perceptual-motor affordance

Macken, Bill ORCID:, Taylor, John C. and Jones, Dylan M. ORCID: 2014. Language and short-term memory: The role of perceptual-motor affordance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 40 (5) , pp. 1257-1270. 10.1037/a0036845

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The advantage for real words over nonwords in serial recall — the lexicality effect — is typically attributed to support for item-level phonology, either via redintegration, whereby partially degraded short-term traces are “cleaned up” via support from long-term representations of the phonological material or via the more robust temporary activation of long-term lexical phonological knowledge that derives from its combination with established lexical and semantic levels of representation. The much smaller effect of lexicality in serial recognition, where the items are re-presented in the recognition cue, is attributed either to the minimal role for redintegration from long-term memory or to the minimal role for item memory itself in such retrieval conditions. We show that the reduced lexicality effect in serial recognition is not a function of the retrieval conditions, but rather because previous demonstrations have used auditory presentation, and we demonstrate a robust lexicality effect for visual serial recognition in a setting where auditory presentation produces no such effect. Furthermore, this effect is abolished under conditions of articulatory suppression. We argue that linguistic knowledge affects the readiness with which verbal material is segmentally recoded via speech motor processes that support rehearsal and therefore affects tasks that involve recoding. On the other hand, auditory perceptual organization affords sequence matching in the absence of such a requirement for segmental recoding and therefore does not show such effects of linguistic knowledge.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: lexicality effect, redintegration, auditory perception, articulatory fluency, modality
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the CC-BY license.
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 0278-7393
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 27 March 2014
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:35

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