Susanna Luu


Memory is a complex process that requires the translation of information from an external sensory experience into an internal representation. Once information has been translated into memory, there is little agreement regarding the cognitive structure of memory storage and maintenance. Baddeley (1966) developed a model based on a multi-storage structure which suggested that as information entered through the sensory system, it was relayed by a cognitive control center and placed into storage units based on information type (i.e. auditory, visual, etc.). Baddeley’s (1966) multi-store memory model hypothesized that content translated into memory by two phases: short-term and long-term memory. More recent research supports a unitary model that better accounts for the translation of information from short term memory (STM) to long term memory (LTM) (Jost et al., 2012; Jonides et al., 2008). However, there is still uncertainty of a unitary memory model due to disagreement of the role of distractions during memory translation. The impact of distraction on this process is largely unknown. Understanding the role of distraction during STM encoding and how it affects the formation of LTM can potentially inform treatment for impaired memory. We explored the impact of temporal distractions on short-term memory and delayed recognition for visual content within a modified behavioral task based on Sternberg’s recognition task. Results indicated a negative impact of distractors on memory translation. Implications for future research were discuss to include clinical populations.

LLU Discipline

Clinical Psychology




School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Brenner, Colleen A.

Second Advisor

Neece, Cameron L.

Third Advisor

Sonne, Janet L.

Fourth Advisor

Vermeersch, David A.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Memory; Long-term memory; Short-term memory; Human Information Processing; Mental Processes

Subject - Local

External sensory experience; Memory storage; Cognitive Control Center;



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives