The relationship between semantic short-term memory and immediate serial recall of known and unknown words and nonwords: data from two Chinese individuals with aphasia

Winsy Wong (Corresponding Author), Sam-Po Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

The present study investigated verbal recall of semantically preserved and degraded words and nonwords by taking into consideration the status of one's semantic short-term memory (STM). Two experiments were conducted on 2 Chinese individuals with aphasia. The first experiment showed that they had largely preserved phonological processing abilities accompanied by mild but comparable semantic processing deficits; however, their performance on STM tasks revealed a double dissociation. The second experiment found that the participant with more preserved semantic STM had better recall of known words and nonwords than of their unknown counterparts, whereas such effects were absent in the patient with severe semantic STM deficit. The results are compatible with models that assume separate phonological and semantic STM components, such as that of R. C. Martin, M. Lesch, and M. Bartha (1999). In addition, the distribution of error types was different from previous studies. This is discussed in terms of the methodology of the authors' experiments and current views regarding the nature of semantic STM and representations in the Chinese mental lexicon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900–917
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • short-term memory model
  • Chinese aphasia
  • immediate serial recall
  • phonological representations of Chinese

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