Modality effects in memory for basic stimulus attributes: A temporal and nontemporal comparison

Ruth S. Ogden, Luke A. Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    91 Downloads (Pure)


    Previous research suggests that there are significant differences in the operation of reference memory for stimuli of different modalities, with visual temporal entries appearing to be more durable than auditory entries (Ogden, Wearden, & Jones, 2008, 2010). Ogden et al. (2008, 2010) demonstrated that when participants were required to store multiple auditory temporal standards over a period of delay there was significant systematic interference to the representation of the standard characterized by shifts in the location of peak responding. No such performance deterioration was observed when multiple visually presented durations were encoded and maintained. The current article explored whether this apparent modality-based difference in reference memory operation is unique to temporal stimuli or whether similar characteristics are also apparent when nontemporal stimuli are encoded and maintained. The modified temporal generalization method developed in Ogden et al. (2008) was employed; however, standards and comparisons varied by pitch (auditory) and physical line length (visual) rather than duration. Pitch and line length generalization results indicated that increasing memory load led to more variable responding and reduced recognition of the standard; however, there was no systematic shift in the location of peak responding. Comparison of the results of this study with those of Ogden et al. (2008, 2010) suggests that although performance deterioration as a consequence of increases in memory load is common to auditory temporal and nontemporal stimuli and visual nontemporal stimuli, systematic interference is unique to auditory temporal processing. © 2011 The Experimental Psychology Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1354-1371
    Number of pages17
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Length perception
    • Nontemporal generalization
    • Pitch perception
    • Reference memory
    • Temporal generalization


    Dive into the research topics of 'Modality effects in memory for basic stimulus attributes: A temporal and nontemporal comparison'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this