Memory & Cognition

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 440–448 | Cite as

The separability of space and time: Dimensional interaction in the memory trace

  • Addle Dutta
  • James S. Nairne


The speeded-classification paradigm, adapted from the study of perceptual interactions, was used to examine interactions among features of the short-term memory trace. In each of four experiments, a trial began with the presentation of a pair of stimuli, each member of which occurred either first or second in time and above or below a fixation point. One of the two stimuli was then presented again, and the task was to classify its prior temporal (Experiments 1 and 3) or spatial (Experiments 2 and 4) position. The main question of interest asked whether subjects could selectively attend to one of these occurrence dimensions while ignoring irrelevant variation along the other. The results suggested that whereas subjects can selectively ignore temporal or spatial variation when no recall of the irrelevant dimension’s value is required, they suffer interference when values on both dimensions must be remembered. The obtained patterns of interference are consistent withpostperceptual interactions of the-spatial and temporal components of the memory trace.


Spatial Position Congruity Effect Memory Trace Irrelevant Dimension Redundancy Gain 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Addle Dutta
    • 1
  • James S. Nairne
    • 1
  1. 1.Purdue UniversityWest Lafayette

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