, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 365-373

Precategorical acoustic storage (PAS)


A system for precategorical storage of acoustic information is described. Material in this store is subject to overwriting and to decay with time. Precategorical Acoustic Storage (PAS) receives information only from the ears; it is not affected by silent rehearsal or by visual stimulation, and is explicitly distinguished from storage in terms of articulation. Two experiments are reported in which these properties of PAS are tested. Postulation of PAS permits an account of serial position functions for visual and auditory presentation in immediate memory, a distinction between “recency” and “flnality” effects, the differential effects of a redundant prefix and a redundant suffix, effects of vocalization at presentation and at recall, and the relation between memory confusions and speech perception. Implications for a general theory of human memory are discussed.

Preparation of this paper was supported in part by NSF Grant GB 4066 and in part by PHS Grant MH 14229. We wish to acknowledge the careful assistance of Mrs. Kathleen A. Catanese in collecting and tabulating the data reported herein.