Events / Penn Memory Seminar: Alice Healy

Penn Memory Seminar: Alice Healy

March 20, 2024
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

357 Levin Building, 425 S. University Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Reconstruction of Temporal and Spatial Order Information


A reconstruction-of-order task illuminated the dynamics and strategies that underlie serial order recall. Following an initial baseline experiment, a second experiment orthogonally varied temporal and spatial positions. This experiment yielded large performance differences between recalling temporal and spatial information. In the temporal condition, participants attempted to reconstruct the temporal order of words that were positioned alphabetically within a vertical array. In the spatial condition, participants attempted to reconstruct the spatial positions of words presented in a temporal sequence based on their alphabetical order. After viewing each list, all the words appeared alphabetically, and participants reconstructed the order of the words according to their instructed condition. Compared to temporal recall, spatial recall exhibited superior performance and a more bowed symmetrical serial position function. Analyses showed the effects of temporal contiguity in the spatial condition and spatial contiguity in the temporal condition. These findings suggest that participants might not focus on the words’ identities but rather on the temporal-spatial pattern in which the words occur during the study display.