Short term memory's effectiveness influenced by sight, sound

For decades scientists have believed that people can only remember an ordered list of about seven items at a time--such as seven grocery items or seven digits of a phone number--but new research from the University of Rochester has shown that this magic number varies depending on whether the language used is spoken or signed. The results in the cover story of the latest issue of Nature Neuroscience have important implications for standardized tests, which often employ ordered-list retention as a measure of a person's mental aptitude.

"When we hear things, we naturally process them in a series," says Daphne Bavelier, associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. "When we hear music, for instance, it comes to us second by second, so the part of our brains that processes auditory information has evolved to absorb information in sequence. This means hearing a spoken list, such as numbers in an ATM code, corresponds more closely with what the auditory brain does naturally." Conversely, visual information comes to us simultaneously as we might see a sunset, clouds and a skyline all at the same time. While the visual processes in the brain can still remember ordered lists, they tend to be less effective at it, recalling an average of five numbers instead of seven.

In the 1960s, cognitive scientists showed that for nearly all speakers of all languages, list retention peaked at around seven items, plus or minus about two. As more languages were tested, a few exceptions were found, such as Chinese, that allows to hold nine items or Welsh that is nearer to five, but in all cases these variations were entirely predictable by the length of time it takes to utter the words in each language. The Chinese numbers used in the test happen to be very short and simple to pronounce, whereas Welsh ones are quite complex and take longer. In this context, deaf users of American Sign Language who had been known to recall only about fi

Contact: Jonathan Sherwood
University of Rochester

Page: 1 2 3

Related medicine news :

1. Short-term effects of spit tobacco suggest long-term health risks
2. Short-term increase in ozone linked to rise in number of deaths in large US cities
3. Short course of Tibetan yoga improved sleep in cancer patients
4. Short gaps between pregnancies linked to complications
5. Short-term dyslexia treatment strengthens key brain regions
6. Short-term pain can mean long-term gain for osteoarthritis patients
7. UCSF Study Finds Latina Women Have Greater Risk Of Premature Birth With Short Interpregnancy Interval
8. Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation May Offer Dramatic Short-Term Relief For Chronic Back Pain
9. Study Shows Foreign-Trained Doctors Can Ease Rural Physician Shortages
10. For High-Volume Chest Pain Centers, Aggressive Use Of Nuclear Imaging Technology Saves Money, Shortens Hospital Says
11. New Short-Acting Anesthetics Cut Recovery Time

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... ) has focused on providing comprehensive solutions involving adult stem cell therapies to ... has officially deemed the “Regenestem” name as a Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Bunion Bootie , ... early celebration of the early holiday shopping season. Starting Wednesday November 25th, Bunion ... ea). Black Friday promotional pricing is in addition to any automatic discounts applied ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... certified to offer their patients the many benefits of the revolutionary BIOLASE WaterLase ... sharp cutting and scraping tools traditionally used by a dentist in Gettysburg, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... New patients ... without a referral for dental implants at her Mississauga, ON practice. Dr. ... experienced in the placement of dental implants. , Missing teeth can lead to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Charitable ... all charitable donations are made in the last five weeks of the year totalling ... was created in 2012 to connect the nation’s charities with those individuals who want ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... and BERN, Switzerland , ... the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research of the ... the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition of ... the start of an exclusive collaboration to develop a ... algorithm for the personalised delivery of insulin for diabetic ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... st  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological ... in Chicago on Nov-29 th through ... st  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of ... Chicago on Nov-29 th through Dec-4 th ... will present its revolutionary whole body CZT digital SPECT/CT solution at ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... The uptake of recently approved and pipeline premium products for Type 1 ... 2021, says GBI Research . --> ... Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM), will be a key driver of market growth to ... The uptake of recently approved and pipeline premium products for Type ... to 2021, says GBI Research . ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: