Visuospatial bootstrapping: aging and the facilitation of verbal memory by spatial displays
Allen, R. J.
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Calia, C., Darling, S., Allen, R. & Havelka, J. (2015) Visuospatial bootstrapping: aging and the facilitation of verbal memory by spatial displays. Archives Of Scientific Psychology, 3 (1), pp. 74-81.
Recent studies on verbal immediate serial recall show evidence of the integration of information from verbal and visuospatial short-term memory with long-term memory representations. Verbal serial recall is improved when the information is arranged in a familiar spatially distributed pattern, such as a telephone keypad. This pattern, termed visuospatial 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 been used to demonstrate visuospatial bootstrapping. Results demonstrated better performance when digits were presented in a typical telephone keypad display. Although digit serial recall declined with age, there was no evidence that this visuospatial bootstrapping effect differed in size between older and younger adults. Theoretical and practical implications of these results are described.