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, 153 (3736), 652-4

High-speed Scanning in Human Memory

High-speed Scanning in Human Memory

S Sternberg. Science.


When subjects judge whether a test symbol is contained in a short memorized sequence of symbols, their mean reaction-time increases linearly with the length of the sequence. The linearity and slope of the function imply the existence of an internal serial-comparison process whose average rate is between 25 and 30 symbols per second.

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