Document Detail

Escaping the recent past: which stimulus dimensions influence proactive interference?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23297049     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Proactive interference occurs when information from the past disrupts current processing and is a major source of confusion and errors in short-term memory (STM; Wickens, Born, & Allen, Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 2:440-445, 1963). The present investigation examines potential boundary conditions for interference, testing the hypothesis that potential competitors must be similar along task-relevant dimensions to influence proactive interference effects. We manipulated both the type of task being completed (Experiments 1, 2, and 3) and dimensions of similarity irrelevant to the current task (Experiments 4 and 5) to determine how the recent presentation of a probe item would affect the speed with which participants could reject that item. Experiments 1, 2, and 3 contrasted STM judgments, which require temporal information, with semantic and perceptual judgments, for which temporal information is irrelevant. In Experiments 4 and 5, task-irrelevant information (perceptual similarity) was manipulated within the recent probes task. We found that interference from past items affected STM task performance but did not affect performance in semantic or perceptual judgment tasks. Conversely, similarity along a nominally irrelevant perceptual dimension did not affect the magnitude of interference in STM tasks. Results are consistent with the view that items in STM are represented by noisy codes consisting of multiple dimensions and that interference occurs when items are similar to each other and, thus, compete along the dimensions relevant to target selection.
Kimberly S Craig; Marc G Berman; John Jonides; Cindy Lustig
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Memory & cognition     Volume:  41     ISSN:  1532-5946     ISO Abbreviation:  Mem Cognit     Publication Date:  2013 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-06-20     Completed Date:  2014-05-06     Revised Date:  2014-07-02    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0357443     Medline TA:  Mem Cognit     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  650-70     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Attention / physiology*
Judgment / physiology
Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
Task Performance and Analysis
Time Factors
Visual Perception / physiology
Young Adult
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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