ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

1aSC8. The effects of talker-specific information on immediate memory span.

Helena M. Saldana

Speech Res. Lab., Dept. of Psych., Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN 47405

Recent evidence suggests that talker-specific information is retained along with codes for words and phonemes in long-term memory [Palmeri et al., JEP:LMC 19, 309--328 (1993); J. W. Mullenix and D. B. Pisoni, 365--378 (1990)]. If this indexical information is retained, one would expect talker-specific information to also effect a listener's performance on short-term memory tasks. However, the predominant trace decay theories of short-term memory do not predict this. For example, in the articulatory loop model, items are stored as memory traces that fade after approximately 2 s unless revived by an articulatory control process [A. D. Baddeley and G. J. Hitch, Psych. Learn. Motiv. (1974)]. The number of items that can be reactivated within the decay time can be retained indefinitely. Therefore, immediate memory span is defined in terms of time or duration of items. In the present investigation, memory span experiments were conducted in which voice information was held constant or was changed for each item in the list. Initial results indicate that a change in voice information results in a decrease in memory span. Follow-up experiments manipulate speaking rate and presentation level. A reconceptualization of the articulatory loop model is discussed which takes into account the encoding of stimulus variability. [Work supported by NIH.]