01/05/2013 Medicine Psychology
DOI: 10.3758/s13421-012-0277-2 SemanticScholar ID: 207716696 MAG: 2086112280

Are forward and backward recall the same? A dual-task study of digit recall

Publication Summary

There is some debate surrounding the cognitive resources underlying backward digit recall. Some researchers consider it to differ from forward digit recall due to the involvement of executive control, while others suggest that backward recall involves visuospatial resources. Five experiments therefore investigated the role of executive-attentional and visuospatial resources in both forward and backward digit recall. In the first, participants completed visuospatial 0-back and 2-back tasks during the encoding of information to be remembered. The concurrent tasks did not differentially disrupt performance on backward digit recall, relative to forward digit recall. Experiment 2 shifted concurrent load to the recall phase instead and, in this case, revealed a larger effect of both tasks on backward recall, relative to forwards recall, suggesting that backward recall may draw on additional resources during the recall phase and that these resources are visuospatial in nature. Experiments 3 and 4 then further investigated the role of visual processes in forward and backward recall using dynamic visual noise (DVN). In Experiment 3, DVN was presented during encoding of information to be remembered and had no effect upon performance. However, in Experiment 4, it was presented during the recall phase, and the results provided evidence of a role for visual imagery in backward digit recall. These results were replicated in Experiment 5, in which the same list length was used for forward and backward recall tasks. The findings are discussed in terms of both theoretical and practical implications.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Richard Allen

Dr. Richard Allen

University of Leeds - Associate Professor

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