Aspects of short-term auditory memory as revealed by a recognition task on multi-tone sequences.

Retention capacity and temporal aspects of auditory short-term memory have been investigated through a multi-tone sequence paradigm and recognition task. There were 37 normally hearing subjects, with (16) and without (21) musical education. They were required to judge whether or not a tonal sequence comprised a tone probe, which was presented following the sequence. The subjects' performance appears to be mainly dependent on the number of the sequence components (n = 2,4,6), while sequence-probe interval (1,3,7 sec) represents a factor of minor weight. In addition, a strong recency effect has been shown for the last sequence component, also extending to the antecedent ones when sequence-probe interval is short. In contrast to studies on verbal short-term memory, no primacy effect has been demonstrated. Musically experienced subjects performed significantly better than naive counterparts. These results have proved to be repeatable in separate groups of subjects, and sensitive to auditory skills associated with musical practice. It is likely that tests of auditory memory based on tonal sequences could be useful in the clinical assessment of subjects with suspected central auditory dysfunction, or subjects who have had a cochlear implant after variable periods of auditory deprivation.
AuthorsS Prosser
JournalScandinavian audiology (Scand Audiol) Vol. 24 Issue 4 Pg. 247-53 ( 1995) ISSN: 0105-0397 [Print] DENMARK
PMID8750754 (Publication Type: Comparative Study, Journal Article)
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Memory
  • Mental Recall
  • Pilot Projects

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