Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Semantic and phonological contributions to short-term repetition and long-term cued sentence recall

The ability to repeat a sentence relies on both knowing phonological (speech sound) information and semantic (meaning) information. When we hear a sentence, the phonological information is maintained in short-term memory (STM). Additionally, related semantic knowledge held in long-term memory (LTM) is activated, and can support sentence recall. How each type of information contributes to remembering sentence content during STM recall and encoding into LTM, however, remains unclear.
The present study examined learning of phonological and semantic aspects of sentence. To test short-term repetition, participants were asked to repeat sentences they heard after a short delay. During the short delay, the participant either completed a phonological task or a finger tapping task. The task during the delay was designed to either disrupt phonological short-term memory (phonological task), or long-term memory more generally (finger tapping task). After 100 sentences were completed, participants were asked to recall all the sentences they previously. During this long-term cued recall task, participants were presented with two words (the subject and the main verb) from a sentence they had previously heard and were asked to recall the sentence verbatim.
Results revealed that when phonological information was blocked, short-term recall accuracy was reduced. Interestingly, long-term recall for these sentences was better relative to what they had remembered in the STM task. It was suggested that the disruptive phonological task shifted the participant to processing the sentence meaning in more depth, and hence, better encoding and recall.
The findings indicate that processing meaning vs. phonological information supports long-term retention. If you’d like to read another summary of this paper completed by our lab, click here: http://canadianslp.blogspot.ca/2016/02/semantic-and-phonological-contributions.html
Blogger: Theresa Pham is a student in the combined MClSc/PhD program working under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Archibald. Theresa’s work examines the learning of phonological (speech sound) and semantic (meaning) aspects of words.

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