Order Recall in Verbal Short-Term Memory: The Role of Semantic Networks

By Poirier, Marie; Saint-Aubin, Jean et al. | Memory & Cognition, April 2015 | Go to article overview

Order Recall in Verbal Short-Term Memory: The Role of Semantic Networks


Poirier, Marie, Saint-Aubin, Jean, Mair, Ali, Tehan, Gerry, Tolan, Anne, Memory & Cognition


Published online: 10 October 2014

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2014

Abstract In their recent article, Acheson, MacDonald, and Postle (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 37:44-59, 2011) made an important but controversial suggestion: They hypothesized that (a) semantic information has an effect on order information in short-term memory (STM) and (b) order recall in STM is based on the level of activation of items within the relevant lexico-semantic long-term memory (LTM) network. However, verbal STM research has typically led to the conclusion that factors such as semantic category have a large effect on the number of correctly recalled items, but little or no impact on order recall (Poirier & Saint-Aubin, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 48A:384-404, 1995; Saint-Aubin, Ouellette, & Poirier, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 12:171- 177, 2005; Tse, Memory 17:874-891, 2009). Moreover, most formal models of short-term order memory currently suggest a separate mechanism for order coding-that is, one that is separate from item representation and not associated with LTM lexico-semantic networks. Both of the experiments reported here tested the predictions that we derived from Acheson et al. The findings show that, as predicted, manipulations aiming to affect the activation of item representations significantly impacted order memory.

Keywords Short-term memory . Workingmemory . Order recall . Immediate memory . Activated long-term memory

We are all familiar with the experience of reading an article in our field of expertise. Expressions are recognized, some arguments and ideas are anticipated, and grasping the experimental logic is facilitated by our understanding of the strategies in the area. Thus, our previous knowledge of the constituents of the article significantly supports our understanding of the work. In important ways, this example illustrates one of the most fundamental functions that memory performs: allowing the past to support and guide our present interactions with the world. This is the issue that motivated the present work; in the experiments reported here, we examined the interaction between semantic knowledge and the last few seconds of our most recent past-the content of verbal short-term memory (STM).

Here, we viewed STM as a less general system than working memory. More specifically, STM was defined as the system that carries out the temporary maintenance of information necessary for many mental or cognitive operations and tasks (Baddeley, 1986). Generally, STM is recognized as playing an important role in everyday cognition (Cowan, 1999;Majerus,2009). Moreover, the role of STM for order has also been highlighted in cognitive development, and in particular in learning new words (Cowan, 1999;Majerus& Boukebza, 2013). One of the roles of STM that is regarded as central is the short-term maintenance of the order of events (Majerus, 2009). As a simple example, consider keying in a new security code, address, or phone number. These can, of course, be written down, but even in order to do so, they must be maintained in memory long enough for the writing down to take place.

Short- and long-term memory

Until relatively recently, the literature examining how the lexico-semantic properties of verbal items affect performance in STM tasks was sparse. However, the present work bears witness to the growing interest in this area, with recent research having systematically explored the relationship between language organization in long-term memory (LTM) andverbalshort-termrecall(e.g.,Acheson,MacDonald,& Postle, 2011; Hamilton & Martin, 2007;Majerus,2009;R.C. Martin, 2006; Tehan, Humphreys, Tolan, & Pitcher, 2004; Thorn & Page, 2009). Nevertheless, less work has been done on the factors typically associated with semantic LTM. The studies reported here tested a controversial hypothesis that suggests that semantic LTM plays an important role in verbal STM, and more specifically in short-term order memory. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Order Recall in Verbal Short-Term Memory: The Role of Semantic Networks
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.