Effects of Modality and Linguistic Materials on Memory

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Conference Proceeding

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Auditory and visual tests with matched word-level and sentence-level materials were compared in order to tease apart the effects of modality and linguistic factors on recall scores. Participants were 32 young adults (27 female, 5 male) in good or excellent health, who were native English speakers (mean age = 19.9 years, SD = 1.8, range 18-26) and had at least some post-secondary education. The complex auditory and visual stimuli were sentences taken from the Revised Speech Perception in Noise (RSPIN) Test materials. Participants completed each of the four tests (2 modalities x 2 linguistic levels): simple (word-level materials) auditory, complex (sentence-level materials) auditory, simple reading, complex reading. Using the total scores, recall was better for word- than for sentence-level materials by 8.9% and recall was better for auditory than for visual materials by 10.8%. There was a significant correlation between modalities for the sentence-level conditions, and a stronger correlation for word-level materials.