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      Recall is not necessary for verbal sequence learning

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      Memory & Cognition
      Springer US
      Recall, Sequence learning, Short-term memory

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          Abstract

          The question of whether overt recall of to-be-remembered material accelerates learning is important in a wide range of real-world learning settings. In the case of verbal sequence learning, previous research has proposed that recall either is necessary for verbal sequence learning (Cohen & Johansson Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 6, 139–143, 1967; Cunningham, Healy, & Williams Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 10, 575–597, 1984), or at least contributes significantly to it (Glass, Krejci, & Goldman Journal of Memory and Language, 28, 189–199, 1989; Oberauer & Meyer Memory, 17, 774–781, 2009). In contrast, here we show that the amount of previous spoken recall does not predict learning and is not necessary for it. We suggest that previous research may have underestimated participants’ learning by using suboptimal performance measures, or by using manual or written recall. However, we show that the amount of spoken recall predicted how much interference from other to-be-remembered sequences would be observed. In fact, spoken recall mediated most of the error learning observed in the task. Our data support the view that the learning of overlapping auditory–verbal sequences is driven by learning the phonological representations and not the articulatory motor responses. However, spoken recall seems to reinforce already learned representations, whether they are correct or incorrect, thus contributing to a participant identifying a specific stimulus as either “learned” or “new” during the presentation phase.

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          Binary codes capable of correcting deletions, insertions, and reversal

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            Short-term memory for serial order: the Start-End Model.

            Three solutions to the problem of serial order can be identified: chaining, ordinal and positional theories. Error patterns in serial recall from short-term memory fail to support chaining theories, yet provide unequivocal evidence for positional theories. In a new model of short-term memory, the Start-End Model (SEM), the positions of items in a sequence are coded relative to the start and end of that sequence. Simulations confirm SEM's ability to capture the main phenomena in serial recall, such as the effects of primacy, recency, list length, grouping, modality, redundant suffices, proactive interference, retention interval, and phonological similarity. Moreover, SEM is the first model to capture the complete pattern of errors, including transpositions, repetitions, omissions, intrusions, confusions, and, in particular, positional errors between groups and between trials. Unlike other positional models however, SEM predicts that positional errors will maintain relative rather than absolute position, in agreement with recent experiments (Henson, 1977).
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              Binary codes capable of correcting deletions, insertions and reversals

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                kristjan.kalm@mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk
                Journal
                Mem Cognit
                Mem Cognit
                Memory & Cognition
                Springer US (New York )
                0090-502X
                1532-5946
                20 August 2015
                20 August 2015
                2016
                : 44
                : 104-113
                Affiliations
                MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge, CB2 7EF UK
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5396-432X
                Article
                544
                10.3758/s13421-015-0544-0
                4722071
                26289546
                0dfd6646-6caf-47da-83e8-4c8fb983bc7f
                © The Author(s) 2015

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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                © Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2016

                Neurosciences
                recall,sequence learning,short-term memory
                Neurosciences
                recall, sequence learning, short-term memory

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