Effects of Irrelevant Speech on Immediate Serial Recall: The Role of Phonological Complexity (en)

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Day / Time: 08.03.2023, 15:40-16:20
Typ: Poster
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Abstract: The “irrelevant sound effect” (ISE) is defined as the impairment of serial recall performance for visually presented verbal items by task-irrelevant background sounds. The most prominent characteristic of the ISE is the “changing-state effect” (CSE), which suggests that the ISE is more pronounced when the irrelevant sound is composed of changing auditory tokens when compared to single repetitive ones. The CSE has been attributed to the pre-attentive, obligatory processing of auditory streams, which, in case of changing-state streams, evoke serial order representations that interfere with the deliberate serial rehearsal of the list items. The disruptive potential of speech in the irrelevant sound paradigm has made it a subject matter of several investigations, yet only few have focused on which speech-like features are crucial to produce disruption. In this experiment, we explored the role of phonological complexity and CSE of the background speech in the ISE. Participants´ serial recall performance for visually presented digits was assessed under 5 sound conditions: 1.silent control, 2.consonant-vowel (CV) steady-state syllables, 3.CV changing-state syllables, 4.CCVCC steady-state syllables, and 5.CCVCC changing-state syllables. Results confirmed a significant impact of CSE, but statistically there was no difference in ISE magnitude between sequences of simple and complex speech tokens.


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