Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 458–465 | Cite as

Local temporal distinctiveness does not benefit auditory verbal and spatial serial recall

  • Fabrice B. R. Parmentier
  • Suzanne King
  • Ian Dennis


In the present study, we examined the role of randomly arranged temporal intervals preceding and following items (pre- and postitem intervals, respectively) in auditory verbal and spatial recall tasks. The duration of the pre- and postitem intervals did not affect serial recall performance. This finding calls into question (1) the suggestion that the interval following an item permits the consolidation of information in memory, even in a relatively demanding spatial task, and (2) the prediction that temporal distinctiveness should improve performance. The latter was explored further by showing that in contrast to our empirical data, a relative temporal distinctiveness model produced significant increases in recall performance when pre- and postitem intervals increased. The results are discussed with regard to recent studies revisiting the role of temporal isolation in short-term serial memory.


Serial Position Serial Recall Serial Order Spatial Task Verbal Task 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabrice B. R. Parmentier
    • 1
  • Suzanne King
    • 1
  • Ian Dennis
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUK

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