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Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 564–584 | Cite as

Auditory and visual serial position functions obey different laws

  • Anthony A. WrightEmail author
Article

Abstract

Rhesus monkeys were tested in serial probe recognition tasks with either travel slide pictures or natural sounds. Tests with four-item lists produced serial position functions that were essentially opposite in shape for the two modalities and changed in opposite ways with retention interval. For visual memory, the primacy effect grew and the recency effect dissipated with retention interval. Capuchin monkeys, humans, and pigeons showed similar results. For auditory memory with rhesus monkeys, the recency effect grew and the primacy effect dissipated with retention interval. These results taken together, along with results from rehearsal tests of monkeys and humans, implicate two passive memory processes with different time courses. Interference among items within auditory lists was manipulated by varying the time between items and categories of items. Interference across lists was manipulated by varying the item pool size and, hence, item repetitions. Changes in the auditory serial position functions indicated that proactive and retroactive interference may have been instrumental in these dynamically changing serial position functions. Implications for theories and models of memory are discussed.

Keywords

Retention Interval Serial Position Recency Effect Capuchin Monkey Suffix Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurobiology and AnatomyUniversity of Texas Medical School at HoustonHouston

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