A technique that can be used to study the effects of low-level, rote, repetitive (Type I) rehearsal is introduced and validated. The technique is then used to investigate the relationship between the amount of Type I rehearsal and recognition memory performance, free from confoundings that have plagued other research. Increasing the amount of Type I rehearsal improved recognition memory regardless of the number of words maintained at one time (one or three) and independent of the association value of CVC syllables. These results imply that Type I processing serves more than a maintenance-only function, and that the additional benefit from this rehearsal is best explained by an increase in the number of frequency or context tags associated with the memorial representation of the to-be-remembered items.
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