Are memories for duration modality specific?

Ruth S. Ogden, John H. Wearden, Luke A. Jones

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    Four experiments examined the effects of encoding multiple standards in a temporal generalization task in the visual and auditory modalities both singly and cross-modally, using stimulus durations ranging, across different experiments, from 100 to 1,400 ms. Previous work has shown that encoding and storing multiple auditory standards of different durations resulted in systematic interference with the memory of the standard, characterized by a shift in the location of peak responding, and this result, from Ogden, Wearden, and Jones (2008), was replicated in the present Experiment 1. Experiment 2 employed the basic procedure of Ogden et al. using visual stimuli and found that encoding multiple visual standards did not lead to performance deterioration or any evidence of systematic interference between the standards. Experiments 3 and 4 examined potential cross-modal interference. When two standards of different modalities and durations were encoded and stored together there was also no evidence of interference between the two. Taken together, these results, and those of Ogden et al., suggest that, in humans, visual temporal reference memory may be more permanent than auditory reference memory and that auditory temporal information and visual temporal information do not mutually interfere in reference memory. © 2009 The Experimental Psychology Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-80
    Number of pages15
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


    • Interference
    • Modality
    • Reference memory
    • Temporal generalization
    • Timing


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