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memory, pitch, melody

Dear list members,
I'm a non-specialist who's been eavesdropping on your interesting discussions on melody, pitch and memory. I was wondering if any of you knows of any publication that might give me a clue why some phonology students misidentify pitch contours when they take intonation dictations, or why when they hear a falling-rising pattern, they can only (hear? perceive? remember? retain in memory? what else?) the rising movement. 
Any help will be welcome. Remember, I'm not a specialist.
Andrea Perticone