Verbal and Spatial Short-Term Memory: Common Sources of Developmental Change

Y.M.L. Chuah, Murray Maybery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Verbal and spatial span, articulation and tapping rate, and verbal and spatial speed-of-search ch tasks were administered to sixty 6- to 12-year-olds. A variance-partitioning procedure was then used to identify age-related and age-invariant components of variance in span. Outcomes were very similar for verbal and spatial span, in particular, (i) most of the age-related variance was shared by the speed-of-search and rate predictors, (ii) articulation rate provided an age-independent contribution, (iii) changing-state versions of predictor tasks did not account for variance over steady-state versions, and (iv) predictors of the same modality as the span task did not outperform predictors of the other modality. We conclude that verbal and spatial short-term memory appear to rely on similar processes when serial recall is required and that developments in span are closely tied to increases in processing speed. (C) 1999 Academic Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-44
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1999


Dive into the research topics of 'Verbal and Spatial Short-Term Memory: Common Sources of Developmental Change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this