Symmetry and binding in visuo-spatial working memory

C Rossi-Arnaud, L Pieroni, Alan Baddeley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three experiments study the impact of symmetry on a sequential block tapping immediate memory task in human subjects. Experiment 1 shows an advantage from vertical symmetry over non-symmetrical sequences, while finding no effect of horizontal or diagonal symmetry. Experiment 2 tests the possible role of verbal labeling by means of a secondary task that prevents this by articulatory suppression. No evidence of verbalization was observed. A third study examines the effects of a concurrent executive load, finding an overall impairment, that did not differ between symmetrical and asymmetric patterns, suggesting that the effect of symmetry reflects automatic rather than executive processes. Implications for the episodic buffer component of working memory are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-400
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Adult
  • Brain
  • Cognition
  • Humans
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Orientation
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Space Perception

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