Cognitive implications of facilitating echoic persistence

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Memory and Cognition, ISSN: 0090-502X, Vol: 35, Issue: 4, Page: 774-780

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Baldwin, Carryl L.
Springer Nature
Psychology; Arts and Humanities; Spoken word recognition; Memory; Speech; Decay; Echoic persistence; Cognitive Psychology; Experimental Analysis of Behavior
article description
Seventeen participants performed a tone-pattern-matching task at different presentation levels while concurrently engaged in a simulated-driving task. Presentation levels of 60, 65, and 70 dBC (SPL) were combined factorially with tone-matching delays of 2, 3, and 4 sec. Intensity had no effect on performance in single-task conditions and short-delay conditions. However, when the participants were engaged concurrently in the driving task, a significant interaction between presentation level and delay was observed. In the longest delay condition, the participants performed the tone-pattern-matching task more efficiently (more quickly and without additional errors) as presentation intensity increased. These findings demonstrate the interaction between sensory and cognitive processes and point to a direct-intensity relationship where intensity affects the persistence of echoic memory. Implications for facilitating auditory processing and improving auditory interfaces in complex systems (i.e., transportation environments), particularly for older and hearing-impaired listeners, are discussed.