Persistence of the phonological trace in working memory

Richardson, J. T. E.; Longoni, A.M. and Di Masi, N. (1996). Persistence of the phonological trace in working memory. Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive, 15(6) pp. 557–581.

Abstract

It has been argued that working memory contains a short-term phonological store that is vulnerable to decay within 1-2 sec unless it is refreshed by means of articulatory rehearsal. In Experiment 1, however, the phonemic similarity effect was found to persist through a 10-sec retention interval during which the subjects engaged in articulatory suppression, although it was not significant when they had engaged in counting backwards aloud. In Experiment 2, the phonemic similarity effect was found to persist through a retention interval of either 10 or 20 sec during which the subjects engaged in either articulatory suppression or counting backwards aloud. It is concluded that the phonological trace in working memory may have a much longer duration than has previously been assumed.

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