Short-Term Memory Recognition Search in Aphasics A nonverbal short-term memory (STM) recognition task was administered to eight matched pairs of normal and aphasic subjects. Computer-controlled apparatus presented a stimulus list of two, four, and six digits, followed by a single digit, and recorded the amount of time required for subjects to indicate whether the single digit ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1971
Short-Term Memory Recognition Search in Aphasics
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David A. Swinney
    Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, D. C.
  • Orlando L. Taylor
    Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, D. C.
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1971
Short-Term Memory Recognition Search in Aphasics
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1971, Vol. 14, 578-588. doi:10.1044/jshr.1403.578
History: Received September 30, 1970
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1971, Vol. 14, 578-588. doi:10.1044/jshr.1403.578
History: Received September 30, 1970

A nonverbal short-term memory (STM) recognition task was administered to eight matched pairs of normal and aphasic subjects. Computer-controlled apparatus presented a stimulus list of two, four, and six digits, followed by a single digit, and recorded the amount of time required for subjects to indicate whether the single digit was In or Out of the stimulus list. Response latencies were significantly slower for aphasic than for control subjects. Analysis of response latencies as a function of list length revealed that both groups displayed linear increases, suggesting a serial search process in STM. Control subjects displayed parallel increases for both In and Out functions, while aphasic subjects displayed slopes for Out functions twice the magnitude of those for In functions. This finding indicated an exhaustive search in control subjects and a self-terminating search in aphasic subjects. These qualitative and quantitative differences in STM have potential correlates with differences in language comprehension between these populations.

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