Proactive interference in phonological and semantic short-term memory deficits
Hamilton, Andrew Cris
Martin, Randi C.
Master of Arts
These experiments explore the role of proactive interference in short-term memory using a probe recognition task (Monsell, 1974). Experiment 1 indicated that such tasks were particularly difficult for certain patients. Experiment 2 employed negative probes that were phonologically or semantically related to list items in the same or previous list. Subjects included patients with semantic and phonological short-term memory deficits, older adults and undergraduate subjects. Healthy subjects showed significant interference effects on both phonologically and semantically related probes, but only for probes related to items in the same list. A patient with a semantic short-term memory deficit showed interference effects for both phonologically and semantically related probes in both same and previous list conditions. A patient with a phonological short-term memory deficit showed no such effect. Results are discussed in context of theoretical implications for short-term memory models proposing distinctions between phonological and semantic capacities.