Event Title

Visual Memory is Superior to Auditory Memory Despite Extensive Auditory Training

Mentor 1

Melissa Gregg, Ph.D.

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 3:45 PM

Description

Recent studies show that recognition memory for various types of sounds is inferior to memory for pictures of visual objects (e.g., Cohen, Horowitz, & Wolfe, 2009; Cohen, Evans, Horowitz, & Wolfe, 2011). One potential reason for this difference is that typical observers have more experience attentively viewing visual objects and scenes, and this results in more finely tuned neural circuits for encoding, storing, or retrieving visual scenes. To evaluate the role of experience, we determined whether providing extensive training with the to-be-remembered sounds equated auditory and visual memory performance. All participants received an initial auditory and visual memory test. During the initial memory test, all participants completed a study block, which was immediately followed by a test block. During the study block, participants were presented with each image or sound for 1000 ms and were instructed to try to commit the picture or sound to memory as best as they could. During the test block, each participant was presented, in a random order, with 64 pictures or sounds, half of which had been presented in the study block (i.e., 32 were old and 32 were new). Participants were instructed to classify each picture or sound as “old” or “new” by pressing a corresponding key on a keyboard. Then, participants completed an auditory exposure task in which each of the original 64 sounds were presented in consecutive pairs that were either the same or different (in a subtle frequency or duration change). The task was to respond “same” or “different.” After the exposure task, participants received a second auditory memory test (that was identical to the first auditory memory test). Despite this specific auditory training, visual object memory was superior to auditory memory performance. This finding suggests that short-term auditory training is not sufficient for people to attain auditory object memory that is equivalent to visual object memory. The present study is consistent with results demonstrating that visual memory is more enduring than auditory memory.

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Apr 24th, 2:30 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

Visual Memory is Superior to Auditory Memory Despite Extensive Auditory Training

Union Wisconsin Room

Recent studies show that recognition memory for various types of sounds is inferior to memory for pictures of visual objects (e.g., Cohen, Horowitz, & Wolfe, 2009; Cohen, Evans, Horowitz, & Wolfe, 2011). One potential reason for this difference is that typical observers have more experience attentively viewing visual objects and scenes, and this results in more finely tuned neural circuits for encoding, storing, or retrieving visual scenes. To evaluate the role of experience, we determined whether providing extensive training with the to-be-remembered sounds equated auditory and visual memory performance. All participants received an initial auditory and visual memory test. During the initial memory test, all participants completed a study block, which was immediately followed by a test block. During the study block, participants were presented with each image or sound for 1000 ms and were instructed to try to commit the picture or sound to memory as best as they could. During the test block, each participant was presented, in a random order, with 64 pictures or sounds, half of which had been presented in the study block (i.e., 32 were old and 32 were new). Participants were instructed to classify each picture or sound as “old” or “new” by pressing a corresponding key on a keyboard. Then, participants completed an auditory exposure task in which each of the original 64 sounds were presented in consecutive pairs that were either the same or different (in a subtle frequency or duration change). The task was to respond “same” or “different.” After the exposure task, participants received a second auditory memory test (that was identical to the first auditory memory test). Despite this specific auditory training, visual object memory was superior to auditory memory performance. This finding suggests that short-term auditory training is not sufficient for people to attain auditory object memory that is equivalent to visual object memory. The present study is consistent with results demonstrating that visual memory is more enduring than auditory memory.