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A matter of emphasis: linguistic stress habits modulate serial recall

Taylor, John C., Macken, William John ORCID: and Jones, Dylan Marc ORCID: 2015. A matter of emphasis: linguistic stress habits modulate serial recall. Memory & Cognition 43 (3) , pp. 520-537. 10.3758/s13421-014-0466-2

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Models of short-term memory for sequential information rely on item-level, feature-based descriptions to account for errors in serial recall. Transposition errors within alternating similar/dissimilar letter sequences derive from interactions between overlapping features. However, in two experiments, we demonstrated that the characteristics of the sequence are what determine the fates of items, rather than the properties ascribed to the items themselves. Performance in alternating sequences is determined by the way that the sequences themselves induce particular prosodic rehearsal patterns, and not by the nature of the items per se. In a serial recall task, the shapes of the canonical “saw-tooth” serial position curves and transposition error probabilities at successive input–output distances were modulated by subvocal rehearsal strategies, despite all item-based parameters being held constant. We replicated this finding using nonalternating lists, thus demonstrating that transpositions are substantially influenced by prosodic features—such as stress—that emerge during subvocal rehearsal.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0090-502X
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 18 September 2014
Last Modified: 19 May 2023 01:51

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