Memory for positional movements as a component of the visuospatial working memory

  • Stefano SdoiaEmail author
  • Francesco Di Nocera
  • Fabio Ferlazzo
Short Communication


Though the Corsi block-tapping task (CBT) is widely used for assessing visuospatial memory, information about what exactly it measures is still debated. We investigated such issue by observing how motor, visual, and spatial secondary tasks affect the performance on three versions of the CBT. Results showed a double dissociation pattern, wherein two motor secondary tasks had larger effects when the CBT was administered by the examiner tapping on the blocks. A spatial secondary task had larger effects when the CBT was administered by automatically illuminating the blocks. Finally, a visual secondary task had larger effects on a two-dimensional, computerized version of the CBT. These findings suggest that memory for movements plays a relevant role in the CBT, and are especially relevant due to their implications for assessment of brain-damaged patients, besides providing further evidence of a fractionation of visuospatial memory into multiple subcomponents.


Corsi block-tapping task Visuospatial memory Memory for movements 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the present study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

All participants were informed verbally about the procedure and potential risks of their participation and gave their consent to participate to the study.


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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly

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