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Re: working memory and melody

Regarding the involvement of the phonological loop with non-speech auditory information, Iwanaga and Ito (2002) found that listening to music (either vocal or instrumental) during a memorization phase of verbal patterns interfered with subsequent recall of those verbal patterns.  The same effect did not occur with spatial patterns.  Thus, the authors suggested that music may occupy the phonological loop but not the visuospatial sketchpad.

Iwanaga M. and Ito T. (2002) Disturbance effect of music on processing of verbal and spatial memories.  Perceptual and Motor Skills 94:1251-1258.

Robbin Miranda
Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience
Georgetown University
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Washington DC 20007
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