precategorical acoustic store

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An echoic store that is believed to hold auditory information for brief periods before it has been subjected to significant information processing. Evidence for it comes from experiments on serial digit recall, showing that the final two items in a list of digits are recalled better when the list is heard than when it is read but that this effect is suppressed if the auditory list is followed by a verbal suffix (such as that's the end of the list) that need not be recalled. This auditory suffix effect suggests the existence of an auditory memory trace that decays quickly and can be overwritten by other verbal information, but doubt was cast on its existence during the 1990s. Also called a precategorical acoustic memory (PAM). Compare postcategorical acoustic store. PAS abbrev.

Subjects: Psychology.

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