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Syntactic contributions to working memory: A behavioral study

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Bonhage,  Corinna
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Fiebach,  Christian J.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, External Organizations;

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Friederici,  Angela D.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Mueller,  Jutta L.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bonhage, C., Fiebach, C. J., Friederici, A. D., Bahlmann, J., & Mueller, J. L. (2011). Syntactic contributions to working memory: A behavioral study. Poster presented at IMPRS Neurocom & UCL summer school, London, United Kingdom.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-0A15-3
Abstract
Sentences are easier to remember than ungrammatical strings (see Brener, 1940). There are at least two possibilities, how syntactic structure could assist remembering. First, it is possible, that syntax contributes to the phonological loop, e.g. as a chunking mechanism. Second, syntax also could have a rehearsal-independent effect: it could facilitate retrieval e.g. by storing or activating a structural template. In a 2 x 2 x 2 design this study aims to disentangle the effects of syntax, working memory load, and rehearsal in terms of reaction times and error rates. We find both effects of syntax independently and syntax interacting with rehearsal and working memory.