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Auditory distraction in memory tasks: Can it be controlled?

Jones, D., Beaman, P. and Hanczakowski, M. (2013) Auditory distraction in memory tasks: Can it be controlled? In: Internoise 2013, Innsbruck, pp. 6340-6349.

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Irrelevant sound accompanying the processes of encoding and retrieval of verbal events impairs memory performance. However, the degree of impairment is highly dependent on a range of factors. Some of them lie outside rememberers’ control, like the semantic content of distracting sound or the nature of a test used to assess memory. Others, like a strategy used to encode memoranda, rest under control of the rememberer. In this paper the factors that modulate memory impairment are outlined and discussed in terms of multiple mechanisms contributing to memory impairment under auditory distraction. The mechanisms of a capture of attention by distraction, interference of automatic seriation of distraction and voluntary seriation of memoranda, semantic inhibition of distraction, and blocking of memoranda by semantically related distracters are described. Results that demonstrate how these mechanisms determine memory impairment under auditory distraction are also discussed. Particular attention is devoted to the possibility of voluntary control over the workings of these mechanisms and the conditions under which the negative impact of auditory distraction upon memory performance could be minimised.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Cognition Research (CCR)
ID Code:36735

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