Grouping in Short-Term memory: Do Oscillators Code the Position of Items?

L.H.H. Ng, Murray Maybery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


According to several current models of short-term memory, items are retained in order by associating them with positional codes. The models differ as to whether temporal oscillators provide those codes. The authors examined errors in recall of sequences comprising 2 groups of 4 consonants. A critical manipulation was the precise timing of items within the groups, whereby temporal position (time from group onset) and ordinal position (number of items from group onset) were partially unconfounded. Errors that involve items migrating across groups should preserve within-group temporal position according to oscillator models, but should preserve within-group ordinal position according to nonoscillator models. Results from the intergroup errors strongly favored preservation of ordinal rather than temporal position.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-181
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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