Towse, John N. and Cowan, Nelson and Hitch, Graham J. and Horton, Neil (2008) The recall of information from working memory : insights from behavioural and chronometric perspectives. Experimental Psychology, 55 (6). pp. 371-383. ISSN 1618-3169
We describe and evaluate a recall reconstruction hypothesis for working memory (WM), according to which items can be recovered from multiple memory representations. Across four experiments, participants recalled memoranda that were either integrated with or independent of the sentence content. We found consistently longer pauses accompanying the correct recall of integrated compared with independent words, supporting the argument that sentence memory could scaffold the access of target items. Integrated words were also more likely to be recalled correctly, dependent on the details of the task. Experiment 1 investigated the chronometry of spoken recall for word span and reading span, with participants completing an unfinished sentence in the latter case. Experiments 2 and 3 confirm recall time differences without using word generation requirements, while Experiment 4 used an item and order response choice paradigm with nonspoken responses. Data emphasise the value of recall timing in constraining theories of WM functioning.
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