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Item repetition in short-term memory: Ranschburg repeated.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 24, 1162-1181
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In serial recall from short-term memory, repeated items are recalled well when close together (repetition facilitation), but not when further apart (repetition inhibition; the Ranschburg effect). These effects are re-examined with a new scoring scheme that addresses the possibility that repetitions are distinct tokens in memory. Repetition facilitation and repetition inhibition prove robust, and are shown to interact with the temporal grouping of sequences (Experiment 1), which affects the probability of detecting repetition (Experiments 2a and 2b). It is argued that detection of a repetition is necessary for repetition facilitation, attributable to the tagging of immediate repetition, whereas failure to detect or remember a repetition results in repetition inhibition, attributable to an automatic suppression of previous responses and a bias against guessing repeated items (Experiment 3). These findings are discussed in relation to models of short-term memory and the phenomenon of repetition blindness.