Visuospatial bootstrapping: Aging and the facilitation of verbal memory by spatial displays.

Clara Calia, Stephen Darling, Richard Allen, Jelena Havelka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Recent studies on verbal immediate serial recall show evidence of the integration of information from verbal andvisuospatial short-term memory with long-term memory representations. Verbal serial recall is improved when theinformation is arranged in a familiar spatially distributed pattern, such as a telephone keypad. This pattern, termedvisuospatial bootstrapping, is consistent with the existence within working memory of an episodic buffer (Baddeley, 2000).The present experiment aimed to investigate whether similar results would be obtained in a sample of older adults. Older(55–76) and younger (19 –35) adults carried out visual serial recall in 3 visual display conditions that have previously beenused to demonstrate visuospatial bootstrapping. Results demonstrated better performance when digits were presented in atypical telephone keypad display. Although digit serial recall declined with age, there was no evidence that this visuospatialbootstrapping effect differed in size between older and younger adults. Theoretical and practical implications of theseresults are described.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74–81
JournalArchives of Scientific Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • working memory
  • visuospatial bootstrapping
  • episodic buffer
  • aging
  • binding


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