Definition of Memory span

Memory span: The number of items, usually words or numbers, that a person can retain and recall. Memory span is a test of working memory (short-term memory). In a typical test of memory span, an examiner reads a list of random numbers aloud at about the rate of one number per second. At the end of a sequence, the person being tested is asked to recall the items, in order. The average memory span for normal adults is seven.


Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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