Time, Space and Memory for Order
Benjamin, Aaron S.
Information about the order of items in a sequence can be conveyed either spatially or temporally. The current investigation examines whether these different modes of presentation map onto compatible mental representations of serial order. We examined this issue in three immediate serial recall experiments, in which participants recalled lists of letters in the temporal order they appeared. Each letter in a to-be-remembered sequence was presented in a unique spatial position, with the order of these spatial positions progressing from either left-to-right or from right-to-left. In this way, the visually presented lists contained both temporal and spatial order information. Recall of temporal order information was more accurate with congruent spatial order information ﾖ when the letters progressed from left-to-right, following the typical reading direction of English-- compared to when the spatial order information was incongruent. These results suggest compatible representations of serial order when sequences are conveyed spatially and temporally.
serial order; temporal processing; spatial processing; immediate serial recall