Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The goal of the experiment reported was to replicate the previous Sarrazin's (2000) study in order to verify, with an adequate methodological procedure, whether or not the closure principle applied in spatial and temporal reproduction tasks. The hypothesis defended was that the closure of the pattern is an intrinsic property of the structuring process in spatial memory. The stimuli consisted of eight visually presented dots that appeared sequentially with inter-dot distances corresponding to inter-dot durations. After a learning phase, participants reproduced the spatial (space condition) or temporal (time condition) characteristics of the target 60 times in succession. We analyzed the variance level for both element location and Inter-Element-Interval (IEI) on spatial and temporal responses. Two main results emerge from this experiment: (1) the critical dependency of the closure principle to the nature (spatial or temporal) of the response, (2) the importance to consider both locations and intervals as complementary information. These results are discussed in the light of physical system, in particular in term of compensation phenomenon and we proposed a mathematical model that replicates the qualitative feature of variance for both space and time conditions. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.