HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
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
jonathan.sherwood@rochester.edu
585-273-4726
University of Rochester
31-Aug-2004


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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Short term memory effectiveness influenced sight sound

(Date:4/17/2014)... international research team led by Cesar A. Arias, M.D., ... at Houston (UTHealth) has identified a new superbug that ... report appeared in the April 17 issue of ... new superbug is part of a class of highly-resistant ... MRSA, which is a major cause of hospital and ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... is less than 40 years away from a food ... governments, according to a top scientist at the U.S. ... human history, food production will be limited on a ... energy," said Dr. Fred Davies, senior science advisor for ... become as politically destabilizing by 2050 as energy issues ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... its status as the leading weapon against the deadly ... with new research indicating it simply needs to be ... of the cheap anti-malarial drug chloroquine in treating and ... more than half a million people each year around ... developed resistance to chloroquine, but research carried out at ...
(Date:4/16/2014)... SAN ANTONIO, Texas (April 16, 2014) A team that ... of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Johns Hopkins ... protein that helps a common fungus to infect the body. ... infections, diaper rashes and oral thrush, and is the most ...
(Date:4/15/2014)... Scientists have solved a decades-old medical mystery and in the ... fungal infections, which kill about 1.5 million people a year. The ... an antifungal drug that has been in use for more than ... human cells as it is to the microbes it attacks. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):Health News:New MRSA superbug emerges in Brazil 2Health News:Food shortages could be most critical world issue by mid-century 2Health News:Scientists find new way to fight malaria drug resistance 2Health News:Potent, puzzling and (now less) toxic: Team discovers how antifungal drug works 2Health News:Potent, puzzling and (now less) toxic: Team discovers how antifungal drug works 3
(Date:1/15/2014)... ChinaMarketResearchReports.com adds "China Orthopedic Instrument Industry Report, 2013-2015" research ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140115/MN46792 ) Benefiting from aging of ... orthopedic instrument industry has seen rapid development ... 3.28 billion yuan in 2006 to 9.85 billion yuan ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 As health officials across the Midwest warn against ... in Michigan will offer free diagnostic ... Meijer pharmacists to administer tests and, in some cases, fill ... participating in the study. The Grand ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... , Jan. 15, 2014  Celsion Corporation (the "Company") (NASDAQ: ... received commitments from institutional investors to purchase an aggregate ... in an at-the-market registered direct offering, led by a ... into definitive purchase agreements with these investors pursuant to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:Orthopedic Instrument Industry in China Markets Forecast to 2015 2Orthopedic Instrument Industry in China Markets Forecast to 2015 3Meijer Pharmacy Offers Free Flu, Strep Testing as Influenza Cases Rise Across the Midwest 2Meijer Pharmacy Offers Free Flu, Strep Testing as Influenza Cases Rise Across the Midwest 3Celsion Corporation Announces $15 Million At-The-Market Registered Direct Offering 2Celsion Corporation Announces $15 Million At-The-Market Registered Direct Offering 3
Cached News: