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Verbal Spatial Memory: Remembering Locations of Household Objects from Verbal Spatial Descriptions

Sevtap Cinan
2004; 19(53):105-116

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Although in recent years there has been a substantial increase in research on spatial memory, and in particularly visual-spatial memory, there seems to be a few studies on verbal-spatial memory. The present study examined encoding of verbal-spatial information involving locations of furniture in what were called a T-shaped house and a F-shaped house because the shapes of layout plans of the houses resembled the letter T or F. Encoding demands of the verbal-spatial memory task were assessed by using a dual task methodology. Locations of 7 objects were learned under single task or dual task conditions. The participants were presented a layout plan of a house drawn on an A4 paper to get a mental image of the rooms before they listened to verbal descriptions about locations of the objects. They were also given a list containing the names of the objects so that they did not need to remember the names of the objects but just their locations in a room. The dual task performance led to a significant drop in the number of correct locations recalled and an increase in mislocated objects. The present results are discussed in relation to the findings of Salway & Logie?s (1995) study.

Keywords: Verbal spatial memory, short-term spatial memory, dual task, encoding processes, executive processes