Auditory Memory Worse Than Visual, Tactile Memory Remember that barking dog you heard this morning? Chances are you won’t. When it comes to memory, we don’t remember things we hear nearly as well as things we see or touch, according to a study published Feb. 26 in PLoS ONE. The results—which suggest that the mind may ... Research in Brief
Free
Research in Brief  |   May 01, 2014
Auditory Memory Worse Than Visual, Tactile Memory
Author Notes
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   May 01, 2014
Auditory Memory Worse Than Visual, Tactile Memory
The ASHA Leader, May 2014, Vol. 19, 13. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.19052014.13
The ASHA Leader, May 2014, Vol. 19, 13. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.19052014.13
Remember that barking dog you heard this morning? Chances are you won’t. When it comes to memory, we don’t remember things we hear nearly as well as things we see or touch, according to a study published Feb. 26 in PLoS ONE. The results—which suggest that the mind may process and store sound differently than the way it processes and stores other memories—could have big implications for educators, design engineers and advertisers.
“We tend to think that the parts of our brain wired for memory are integrated,” says Amy Poremba, associate professor in the University of Iowa Department of Psychology and corresponding author on the paper. The findings, however, indicate the brain may use separate pathways and processes for auditory information than for visual and tactile information, and that alternative strategies—such as increased mental repetition—may be needed when trying to improve memory.
The researchers asked 54 participants (37 female) to listen to pure tones through headphones, look at various shades of red squares, and feel low-intensity vibrations by gripping an aluminum bar, with each set separated by a delay of one to 32 seconds. Students’ memory declined across the board when time delays grew longer, but the decline was much greater for sounds, and began as early as four to eight seconds after hearing them.
The authors also tested the memory of 82 participants (42 female) by using everyday situations. Students listened to audio recordings of dogs barking, watched silent videos of a basketball game, and touched and held common objects—such as a coffee mug—blocked from view. From an hour to a week later, students were worse at remembering the sounds, but their memory for visual scenes and tactile objects was about the same.
1 Comment
May 15, 2014
Dayna Anderson
Nonspeech Sounds
I'm curious about whether follow-up research involving memory for speech sounds as opposed to tactile and visual memory is planned?
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
May 2014
Volume 19, Issue 5