Event Title

Low Density and Clear Speech Make Spoken Words More Memorable

Location

Jae Yung Song

Start Date

10-5-2022 10:00 AM

Description

This research addresses the effect of word characteristics on memory. Previous research has shown that word frequency, phonological neighborhood density (number of similar-sounding words), and acoustic-phonetic features affect word recognition tasks. However, less is known about their effects on memory. For example, higher frequency and lower neighborhood density make words easier to recognize, as does clear speech . In two experiments, we examine whether neighborhood density and speech style (clear/casual) also make words easier to remember. Participants (n = 48: Exp 1, n = 66: Exp 2) completed an old/new memory task. Stimuli were CVC English words (e.g. hot, path...), 48 high-density, 48 low-density. In Exp 1, target words were recorded in isolation; to emphasize speech style differences, in Exp 2, the same target words were recorded within a sentence context then excised. During the study phase, the participants listened to one of two study lists balanced across speech style. For the test phase, participants heard 96 words (half heard during the study phase, half new) and were asked whether each word was in their study list. We examined percent-correct word recall responses. Results indicate an effect of density (Exp 1, Exp 2), suggesting that people are more likely to remember low-density words. With sufficient difference between styles (Exp 2), they are also more likely to remember clear words. These results support a distinctiveness framework wherein distinct features like unusualness (low-density) and clear speech style enhance listener memory. This research may inform how clear speech can aid memory in cognitive-impaired populations.

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May 10th, 10:00 AM

Low Density and Clear Speech Make Spoken Words More Memorable

Jae Yung Song

This research addresses the effect of word characteristics on memory. Previous research has shown that word frequency, phonological neighborhood density (number of similar-sounding words), and acoustic-phonetic features affect word recognition tasks. However, less is known about their effects on memory. For example, higher frequency and lower neighborhood density make words easier to recognize, as does clear speech . In two experiments, we examine whether neighborhood density and speech style (clear/casual) also make words easier to remember. Participants (n = 48: Exp 1, n = 66: Exp 2) completed an old/new memory task. Stimuli were CVC English words (e.g. hot, path...), 48 high-density, 48 low-density. In Exp 1, target words were recorded in isolation; to emphasize speech style differences, in Exp 2, the same target words were recorded within a sentence context then excised. During the study phase, the participants listened to one of two study lists balanced across speech style. For the test phase, participants heard 96 words (half heard during the study phase, half new) and were asked whether each word was in their study list. We examined percent-correct word recall responses. Results indicate an effect of density (Exp 1, Exp 2), suggesting that people are more likely to remember low-density words. With sufficient difference between styles (Exp 2), they are also more likely to remember clear words. These results support a distinctiveness framework wherein distinct features like unusualness (low-density) and clear speech style enhance listener memory. This research may inform how clear speech can aid memory in cognitive-impaired populations.