Memory for temporal order

Elke E. van der Meer, Frank Krüger, Antje Nuthmann

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The knowledge-based memory for temporal order of events was examined in semantic priming (Experiment 1) and fore-information with relation recognition tasks (Experiment 2). An identical set of variations was used in each task: the stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) (200 vs. 1,000 msec) and the direction of the temporal order between prime or fore-information and target (prospective vs. retrospective). Response latencies, error rates, and pupillary responses served as dependent variables. A positive priming effect was observed with a 200 msec SOA (Experiment 1), suggesting that temporal order of highly typical event sequences (scripts) is stored in memory and is automatically activated. Retrospective items took longer to process with both tasks. These results converge with other studies in demonstrating that the temporal dimension in semantic memory is directional—that is, it emphasizes future time. Compared with RTs the pupillary responses reflect the time course of ongoing processes as well as the difficulty of the task with a greater sensitivity. The implications of our results for the representation of temporal order information in knowledge-based memory (Anderson, 1983, 1996; Friedman, 1990; Freyd, 1987, 1992) are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Event40th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society - Los Angeles, California, United States
Duration: 18 Nov 199921 Nov 1999


Conference40th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles, California


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