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The Phonological Store of Working Memory: Is It Phonological and Is It a Store?

The Phonological Store of Working Memory: Is It Phonological and Is It a Store?,Dylan M. Jones,William J. Macken,Alastair P. Nicholls

The Phonological Store of Working Memory: Is It Phonological and Is It a Store?   (Citations: 15)
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The phonological store construct of the working memory model is critically evaluated. Three experiments test the prediction that the effect of irrelevant sound and the effect of phonological similarity each survive the action of articulatory suppression but only when presentation of to-be-remembered lists is auditory, not visual. No evidence was found to support the interaction predicted among irrelevant speech, modality, and articulatory suppression. Although evidence for an interaction among modality, phonological similarity, and articulatory suppression was found, its presence could be diminished by a suffix, which is an acoustic, not a phonological factor. Coupled with other evidence—from the irrelevant sound effect and errors in natural speech—the action attributed to the phonological store seems better described in terms of a combination of auditory-perceptual and output planning mechanisms. The phonological store is a key element in one of the better articulated and extensively researched models of serial short-term memory: the working memory model (Baddeley, 1986, 1992, 2000a). Elements of the working memory model have been em- bodied within a range of contemporary accounts of short-term memory (see, e.g., Burgess & Hitch, 1999), and the model has been influential in guiding research in a number of applied do- mains. The article presents a critical evaluation of evidence in relation to two of the fundamental elements of the model, namely the phonological store and the phonological loop.
Published in 2004.
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    • ...The relationship between working memory and language production has received far less attention, despite the fact that recall of verbal material requires language production (although see Bock, 1996; Ellis, 1980; Jacquemot & Scott, 2006; Jones, Macken, & Nicholls, 2004; Page, Madge, Cumming, & Norris, 2007; Treiman & Danis, 1988)...

    Daniel J. Achesonet al. Twisting tongues and memories: Explorations of the relationship betwee...

    • ...The notion of changing-state is crucial to the ISE and ‘may be regarded as the empirical signature of the irrelevant sound effect’ (Jones, Macken, & Nicholls, 2004, p. 658)...

    C. Philip Beamanet al. Reverberant auditory environments: the effects of multiple echoes on d...

    • ... there is now a growing body of evidence suggesting that many effects traditionally classed as short-term memory phenomena can be better and more parsimoniously understood by recourse to more ‘‘peripheral’’ processes of auditory perceptual organization and gestural skills (e.g., speech) that are co-opted opportunistically to meet the demands of the short-term memory task (e.g., Hughes & Jones, 2005; Jones, Macken, & Harries, 1997; ...
    • ...The interaction in question is that the phonological similarity effect (PSE; Conrad, 1964) survives under articulatory suppression when the mode of presentation is auditory but not when presentation is visual (Baddeley, Lewis, & Vallar, 1984; Jones et al., 2004; Murray, 1968; Peterson & Johnson, 1971)...
    • ...Although there is already some evidence supporting this perceptual organization account (Jones et al., 2004), the present article addresses the critical question of whether the account generalizes to a situation in which, ostensibly, the expression of phonological storage should be particularly strong, namely, when the to-be-remembered lists are relatively short (see, e.g., Baddeley, 2000b; Baddeley & Larsen, 2003; Salame ´ & ...
    • ...And indeed, at a macroscopic level, the effect of the combination of these factors is entirely in line with the predictions (Baddeley et al., 1984; Jones et al., 2004; Murray, 266 D.M...
    • ...Despite the interaction having been demonstrated several times and despite the amount of theoretical weight placed upon it, only rarely have serial position data been presented (Jones et al., 2004; Murray, 1968)...
    • ...Under suppression, the survival of the PSE with auditory presentation is due largely to the survival of performance for the last one or two phonologically dissimilar items (i.e., the recency portion of the serial position curve; Jones et al., 2004)...
    • ...That order encoding is particularly strong for stimuli that are acoustically distinct from one another accounts for the localization of the survival of a PSE at recency under conditions of articulatory suppression (Jones et al., 2004)...
    • ...A study by Jones et al. (2004) confirmed this prediction: the survival of the similarity effect under suppression is indeed abolished simply by adding a suffix...
    • ...On the basis of this and other findings, Jones et al. (2004) argued that the notion of phonological coding is an encumbrance unnecessary to theorizing about short-term verbal memory...
    • ...To elaborate, Jones et al. (2004) used a list length of 7 and it has been suggested that at this list length—at least in conjunction with the presence of a suffix and/or a requirement for articulatory suppression—the task becomes difficult enough to lead participants to abandon the use of the phonological store and begin to rely on other, non-phonological, coding mechanisms...
    • ...If, therefore, the interaction is indeed mediated by acoustic, not phonological, coding (Jones et al., 2004), the veracity of the working memory model is called into question...
    • ...From the standpoint of the perceptual organization account of the survival of the PSE with auditory items under suppression, the same result is predicted with short lists (5 items) as was found previously with longer lists (7 items; Jones et al., 2004): the survival of the PSE will be confined to recency (i.e., it is a reflection of acoustic, rather than phonological, characteristics of the list)...
    • ...Although the response mode in Jones et al. (2004) was written, there are no a priori grounds for supposing that this procedural difference between that study and this should compromise attempts to compare the results of the two studies...
    • ...The results of Experiment 1 are unambiguous in showing that with relatively short auditory lists (5 items), unlike the case with relatively long lists (7 items; Jones et al., 2004), the survival of the similarity effect under articulatory suppression is not restricted to recency but is apparent throughout the serial position curve...
    • ...For recency at least, the logic we applied to the action of the suffix for 7-item lists in Jones et al. (2004) still seems appropriate: the survival of auditory recency for dissimilar but not similar items is due to the action of acoustically driven perceptual orga-...
    • ...However, on the face of it, the fact that there was a PSE for pre-recency items suggests that the perceptual organization account (Jones et al., 2004) does not provide a comprehensive explanation of the critical interaction...
    • ...It may be the case that the procedural step of using shorter lists produced a different outcome from the study of Jones et al. (2004) not by promoting the use of a phonological store but, rather, by promoting the degree to which perceptual processing could be exploited to recover the order of the to-be-remembered items...
    • ...That is, with a short auditory sequence, the list-initial boundary may help disambiguate the order of the first few dissimilar items just as the end boundary does so for the last few dissimilar items (Jones et al., 2004; present experiment)...
    • ...Second, all previous studies of the interaction between similarity, modality, and suppression that have included 7-item lists have shown a robust PSE under suppression with this list length and in these cases none of the items were redundant (i.e., all 7 were to-be-remembered items; Baddeley et al., 1984; Jones et al., 2004; Murray, 1968)...
    • ...Of course, based on the results of Jones et al. (2004) we would expect that this PSE was confined to recency (as noted earlier, no serial position data were reported in Baddeley et al., 1984 ;w e return to discuss the results of Murray, 1968, in General discussion)...
    • ...This is a study by Murray (1968) which was rather brushed aside by Jones et al. (2004) on the grounds that it used probed recall—wherein participants are re-presented with one item from the list and are required to recall the items that followed it—rather than the more standard serial recall task...
    • ...Results are highly consistent, therefore, across the three studies for which serial position data are available: Murray (1968), Jones et al. (2004), and the current series...
    • ...Additionally, the present results, coupled to those of Jones et al. (2004), suggest that the character of serial recall does not change fundamentally as list length increases (at least in the range of 5–7 items); the change is one of degree rather than kind...
    • ...Here, we summarize those arguments relating to the PSE that were covered in greater detail in Jones et al. (2004), and also elaborate some new points in light of the current results (for arguments pertaining to the irrelevant sound effect, see Jones et al., 2004)...
    • ...Here, we summarize those arguments relating to the PSE that were covered in greater detail in Jones et al. (2004), and also elaborate some new points in light of the current results (for arguments pertaining to the irrelevant sound effect, see Jones et al., 2004)...
    • ...Under suppression, this strong recency and the advantage for the recall of dissimilar over similar items in recency is particularly pronounced (Jones et al., 2004, Figs...
    • ...Thus, the use of language skills (e.g., speech) merely constitutes a restricted example of a general strategy of co-opting motor skills to meet the demands of a short-term memory task (see Jones et al., 2004, for further discussion)...

    Dylan M. Joneset al. Perceptual organization masquerading as phonological storage: Further ...

    • ...Some aspects of this model involving a phonological buffer, a rehearsal component, and their associated effects remains controversial (Brown & Hulme, 1995; Hulme, Surprenant, Bireta, Stuart, & Neath, 2004; Jones, Macken, & Nicholls, 2004; Nairne, 2002) but its structure is still widely accepted (Baddeley, Chincotta, Stafford, & Turk, 2002; Cowan, Baddeley, Elliott, & Norris, 2003; Mueller, Seymour, Kieras, & Meyer, ...

    Charlotte Jacquemotet al. Misperception in sentences but not in words: Speech perception and the...

    • ...First, on the occasion when auditory and visual presentation of to-be-recalled material has been compared in irrelevant sound effects, disruption has been equivalent regardless of the modality of the to-be-recalled material (e.g., Campbell, Beaman, & Berry, 2002; Hanley & Broadbent, 1987; Jones, Macken, & Nicholls, 2004)...

    C. Philip Beaman. The Irrelevant Sound Phenomenon Revisited: What Role for Working Memor...

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