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While current theoretical models remain somewhat inconclusive in their explanation of short-term memory (STM), many theories suggest at least a contribution of long-term memory (LTM) to the short-term system. A number of researchers refer to this process as redintegration (e.g., Schweickert, 1993). Under short-term recall conditions, the current study investigated the effects of redintegration and task difficulty in order to extend research conducted by Neale and Tehan (2007). Thirty participants in Experiment 1 and 26 participants in Experiment 2 completed a serial recall task in which retention interval, presentation rate, and articulatory suppression were used to modify task difficulty. Redintegration was examined by manipulating the characteristics of the to-be-remembered items; lexicality in Experiment 1 and wordlikeness in Experiment 2. Responses were scored based on correct-in-position recall, item scoring, and order accuracy scoring. In line with the Neale and Tehan results, as the difficulty of the task increased so did the effects of redintegration. This was evident in that the advantage for words in Experiment 1 and wordlikeness in Experiment 2 decreased as task difficulty increased. This relationship was observed for item but not order memory, and findings were discussed in relation to the theory of redintegration.


School of Psychology

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Journal Article

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