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J Exp Psychol Gen. 2004 Sep;133(3):355-81.

Double dissociations in visual and spatial short-term memory.

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Psychologisches Institut, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universit├Ąt Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


A visual short-term memory task was more strongly disrupted by visual than spatial interference, and a spatial memory task was simultaneously more strongly disrupted by spatial than visual interference. This double dissociation supports a fractionation of visuospatial short-term memory into separate visual and spatial components. In 6 experiments, this interpretation could be defended against alternative explanations in terms of trade-offs in resource allocation between memory tasks and interference tasks, in terms of an involvement of short-term consolidation and long-term memory, in terms of differential phonological-loop and central-executive involvement, and in terms of similarity-based interference.

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