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If transient sounds are not stored precategorically then they must be decoded into categorical memory on presentation, but this leads to a counter-intuitive position on the function of PAS. The steady state sounds have less need for acoustic storage than transient sounds because of this distinguishing feature. If the processor misses one segment of a transient sound then unless it can look again at the input then an inaccurate categorization may result. With the steady state sounds the need to look again is less essential.

E. the words immediately preceding the suffix. Modality of presentation is an important variable (Morton and HoUoway, 1970) and aU of the experiments to be described here use auditory stimuH. The effect of the suffix item was first demonstrated by Dallett (1965) who found that recaU of a series of seven digits was the same whether an eighth digit ("zero") was relevant and had to be reported by the subject, or was irrelevant and not reported. Reporting the eighth item had Httle effect upon report of the seven test items, and subsequent work indicates that it is the mere presence of the redundant "zero" at the end of the list which is critical here.

In the second experiment (data in Fig. 15b) they were cued to recall on the basis of category but also had to give the location of the information, and therefore the information required in the two experiments is the same. So in a sense the subjects must retain the same information in both cases, but in the category-cued situation (Fig. 15b) subjects recall proportionately fewer items than in the location-cued situation. When location is cued we infer that between 5 and SVi items are available with 2 seconds of presentation, but when category is cued between 3]ά and 4 items are available.

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