It is well established that rote rehearsal plays a key role in serial memory for lists of verbal items. Although a great deal of research has informed us about the nature of verbal rehearsal, much less attention has been devoted to rehearsal in serial memory for visual-spatial information. By using the dot task—a visual-spatial analogue of the classical verbal serial recall task—with delayed recall, performance and eyetracking data were recorded in order to establish whether visual-spatial rehearsal could be evidenced by eye movement. The use of eye movement as a form of rehearsal is detectable (Experiment 1), and it seems to contribute to serial memory performance over and above rehearsal based on shifts of spatial attention (Experiments 1 and 2).
Anderson, J. R., Bothell, D., &Douglass, S. (2004). Eye movements do not reflect retrieval processes: Limits of the eye-mind hypothesis.Psychological Science,15, 225–231.
Awh, E., &Jonides, J. (2001). Overlapping mechanisms of attention and spatial working memory.Trends in Cognitive Sciences,5, 119–126.
Awh, E., Jonides, J., &Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (1998). Rehearsal in spatial working memory.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance,24, 780–790.
Baddeley, A. D. (1986).Working memory. New York: Academic Press.
Baddeley, A. D., Thomson, N., &Buchanan, M. (1975). Word length and the structure of short term memory.Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior,14, 575–589.
Crowder, R. G. (1993). Systems and principles in memory theory: Another critique of pure memory. In A. F. Collins, S. E. Gathercole, M. A. Conway, & P. E. Morris (Eds.),Theories of memory (pp. 139–161). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Drieghe, D., Rayner, K., &Pollatsek, A. (2005). Eye movements and word skipping during reading revisited.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance,31, 954–959.
Farmer, E. W., Berman, J. V. F., &Fletcher, Y. L. (1986). Evidence for a visuo-spatial scratch-pad in working memory.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,38A, 675–688.
Farrell, S., &Lewandowsky, S. (2002). An endogenous distributed model of ordering in serial recall.Psychonomic Bulletin & Review,9, 59–79.
Hoffman, J. E. (1998). Visual attention and eye movements. In H. Pashler (Ed.),Attention (pp. 119–153). Hove, U.K.: Taylor & Francis.
Jones, D., Farrand, P., Stuart, G., &Morris, N. (1995). Functional equivalence of verbal and spatial information in serial short-term memory.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,21, 1008–1018.
Lawrence, B. M., Myerson, J., &Abrams, R. A. (2004). Interference with spatial working memory: An eye movement is more than a shift of attention.Psychonomic Bulletin & Review,11, 488–494.
Lawrence, B. M., Myerson, J., Oonk, H. M., &Abrams, R. A. (2001). The effects of eye and limb movements on working memory.Memory,9, 433–444.
Logie, R. H. (1995).Visuo-spatial working memory. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Longoni, A. M., Richardson, J. T. E., &Aiello, A. (1993). Articulatory rehearsal and phonological storage in working memory.Memory & Cognition,21, 11–22.
Macken, W. J., &Jones, D. M. (2003). Reification of phonological storage.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,56A, 1279–1288.
Meiser, T., &Klauer, K. C. (1999). Working memory and changingstate hypothesis.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,25, 1272–1299.
Nairne, J. S. (2002). Remembering over the short-term: The case against the standard model.Annual Review of Psychology,53, 53–81.
Pearson, D. G., &Sahraie, A. (2003). Oculomotor control and the maintenance of spatially and temporally distributed events in visuospatial working memory.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,56A, 1089–1111.
Postle, B. R., Awh, E., Jonides, J., Smith, E. E., &D’Esposito, M. (2004). The where and how of attention-based rehearsal in spatial working memory.Cognitive Brain Research,20, 194–205.
Rundus, D., &Atkinson, R. C. (1970). Rehearsal processes in free recall: A procedure for direct observation.Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior,9, 99–105.
Schweickert, R., &Boruff, B. (1986). Short-term memory capacity: Magic number or magic spell?Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,12, 419–425.
Smyth, M. M. (1996). Interference with rehearsal in spatial working memory in the absence of eye movements.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,49A, 940–949.
Smyth, M. M., &Scholey, K. A. (1994). Interference in immediate spatial memory.Memory & Cognition,22, 1–13.
Smyth, M. M., &Scholey, K. A. (1996). Serial order in spatial immediate memory.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,49A, 159–177.
Zelinsky, G. J., &Loschky, L. C. (2005). Eye movements serialize memory for objects in scenes.Perception & Psychophysics,67, 676–690.
Zimmer, H. D., Speiser, H. R., &Seidler, B. (2003). Spatio-temporal working-memory and short-term object-location tasks use different memory mechanisms.Acta Psychologica,114, 41–65.
This research was supported by operating grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to S.T. and to J.S.-A. Also, this collaborative work received support from the Québec and New Brunswick governments through the Cooperation in Advanced Education and Research program.
About this article
Cite this article
Tremblay, S., Saint-Aubin, J. & Jalbert, A. Rehearsal in serial memory for visual-spatial information: Evidence from eye movements. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 13, 452–457 (2006). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03193869
- Retention Interval
- Serial Position
- Spatial Attention
- Serial Recall
- Recall Performance