Distinctiveness revisited: Unpredictable temporal isolation does not benefit short-term serial recall of heard or seen events

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26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The notion of a link between time and memory is intuitively appealing and forms the core assumption of temporal distinctiveness models. Distinctiveness models predict that items that are temporally isolated from their neighbors at presentation should be recalled better than items that are temporally crowded. By contrast, event-based theories consider time to be incidental to the processes that govern memory, and such theories would not imply a temporal isolation advantage unless participants engaged in a consolidation process (e.g., rehearsal or selective encoding) that exploited the temporal structure of the list. In this report, we examine two studies that assessed the effect of temporal distinctiveness on memory, using auditory (Experiment 1) and auditory and visual (Experiment 2) presentation with unpredictably varying interitem intervals. The results show that with unpredictable intervals temporal isolation does not benefit memory, regardless of presentation modality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1368-1375
JournalMemory and Cognition
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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