Sternberg Memory Task  

Sternberg Memory Task

This lab is an implementation of the Sternberg short-term memory task. The task is designed to assess how individuals store and retrieve random information from short-term memory. Studying how individuals store and retrieve information from short-term memory provides an important window into more general cognitive processing and human functioning.


The basic task is very simple. In this version of the experiment, you will be presented with a list of random letters of the alphabet. You need to read and remember the letters presented. Once the letter set has been removed from the screen, a single letter will be presented on the screen. Your task is to indicate whether the single letter presented was present in the previous letter set or not set as quickly as possible.

To make your responses as quickly and accurately as possible, you will need to follow some explicit rules. First, you must use only the index finger of your right hand to make your response. Use the period (.) key to indicate a Yes response when the single target letter presented was present in the previous set. Use the comma key (,) to indicate a No response when the single target letter presented was not in the set. To help you make your response as fast as possible, you should keep your index finger on the keyboard just below and between the comma (,) and period (.) keys. This procedure is important so that there is no reaction time bias in favor or either a yes or no response (such as might be created if you used different hands for the two responses).

One you have located the keys on the keyboard and learned which key is Yes and which is No, you are ready to start the practice trials. There are 10 Practice trials, but you must complete those 10 trials with an average response time of under 1000 ms. (less than 1 second) and have made no more than 2 errors so you need to really pay attention and respond VERY quickly. Once you reach that goal, you are ready to do the actual trials.

<----click this button to start the practice trials



Copyright 2018 - Robert J. Padgett - All Rights Reserved


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