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Representation of linguistic information determines its susceptibility to memory interference.

Fernandes MA, Wammes JD, Hsiao JH - Brain Sci (2013)

Bottom Line: Chinese speakers showed significantly greater memory interference from the visuo-spatial than phonological distracting task, a pattern that was not present in the English group.In a secondary analysis, we showed the complementary pattern in a group of English speakers, whose memory for English words was disrupted to a greater degree from the phonological than visuo-spatial distracting task.Together, these results suggest the mode of representation of linguistic information can be indexed behaviorally by susceptibility to retrieval interference that occurs when representations overlap with resources required in a competing task.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada. mafernan@uwaterloo.ca.

ABSTRACT
We used the dual-task paradigm to infer how linguistic information is represented in the brain by indexing its susceptibility to retrieval interference. We measured recognition memory, in bilingual Chinese-English, and monolingual English speakers. Participants were visually presented with simplified Chinese characters under full attention, and later asked to recognize them while simultaneously engaging in distracting tasks that required either phonological or visuo-spatial processing of auditorily presented letters. Chinese speakers showed significantly greater memory interference from the visuo-spatial than phonological distracting task, a pattern that was not present in the English group. Such a pattern suggests that retrieval of simplified Chinese characters differentially requires visuo-spatial processing resources in Chinese speakers; these are compromised under dual-task conditions when such resources are otherwise engaged in a distracting task. In a secondary analysis, we showed the complementary pattern in a group of English speakers, whose memory for English words was disrupted to a greater degree from the phonological than visuo-spatial distracting task. Together, these results suggest the mode of representation of linguistic information can be indexed behaviorally by susceptibility to retrieval interference that occurs when representations overlap with resources required in a competing task.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Memory accuracy for Chinese characters in Chinese-English Participants, and for English words in English-only participants from Fernandes and Guild (2009) [23], under FA = full attention, DAP = divided attention phonological, DAV = divided attention visuo-spatial retrieval conditions.
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brainsci-03-01244-f001: Memory accuracy for Chinese characters in Chinese-English Participants, and for English words in English-only participants from Fernandes and Guild (2009) [23], under FA = full attention, DAP = divided attention phonological, DAV = divided attention visuo-spatial retrieval conditions.

Mentions: We found that the pattern of memory performance for Chinese characters, retrieved under distracting conditions, depended on language group status (See Figure 1). Chinese-English bilingual participants displayed significantly more memory interference from a visuo-spatial than phonological distracting task, whereas the English-only group showed similarly large memory interference in both distracting conditions. Such a pattern suggests that Chinese-English bilinguals relied differentially on visuo-spatial than phonological representations of the characters. This mode of representation was hampered under dual-task conditions when the distracting task also required the same processing resources. Such a suggestion follows from Klingberg’s [33] claim that interference is produced when there is substantial cortical overlap from competing tasks.


Representation of linguistic information determines its susceptibility to memory interference.

Fernandes MA, Wammes JD, Hsiao JH - Brain Sci (2013)

Memory accuracy for Chinese characters in Chinese-English Participants, and for English words in English-only participants from Fernandes and Guild (2009) [23], under FA = full attention, DAP = divided attention phonological, DAV = divided attention visuo-spatial retrieval conditions.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4061882&req=5

brainsci-03-01244-f001: Memory accuracy for Chinese characters in Chinese-English Participants, and for English words in English-only participants from Fernandes and Guild (2009) [23], under FA = full attention, DAP = divided attention phonological, DAV = divided attention visuo-spatial retrieval conditions.
Mentions: We found that the pattern of memory performance for Chinese characters, retrieved under distracting conditions, depended on language group status (See Figure 1). Chinese-English bilingual participants displayed significantly more memory interference from a visuo-spatial than phonological distracting task, whereas the English-only group showed similarly large memory interference in both distracting conditions. Such a pattern suggests that Chinese-English bilinguals relied differentially on visuo-spatial than phonological representations of the characters. This mode of representation was hampered under dual-task conditions when the distracting task also required the same processing resources. Such a suggestion follows from Klingberg’s [33] claim that interference is produced when there is substantial cortical overlap from competing tasks.

Bottom Line: Chinese speakers showed significantly greater memory interference from the visuo-spatial than phonological distracting task, a pattern that was not present in the English group.In a secondary analysis, we showed the complementary pattern in a group of English speakers, whose memory for English words was disrupted to a greater degree from the phonological than visuo-spatial distracting task.Together, these results suggest the mode of representation of linguistic information can be indexed behaviorally by susceptibility to retrieval interference that occurs when representations overlap with resources required in a competing task.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada. mafernan@uwaterloo.ca.

ABSTRACT
We used the dual-task paradigm to infer how linguistic information is represented in the brain by indexing its susceptibility to retrieval interference. We measured recognition memory, in bilingual Chinese-English, and monolingual English speakers. Participants were visually presented with simplified Chinese characters under full attention, and later asked to recognize them while simultaneously engaging in distracting tasks that required either phonological or visuo-spatial processing of auditorily presented letters. Chinese speakers showed significantly greater memory interference from the visuo-spatial than phonological distracting task, a pattern that was not present in the English group. Such a pattern suggests that retrieval of simplified Chinese characters differentially requires visuo-spatial processing resources in Chinese speakers; these are compromised under dual-task conditions when such resources are otherwise engaged in a distracting task. In a secondary analysis, we showed the complementary pattern in a group of English speakers, whose memory for English words was disrupted to a greater degree from the phonological than visuo-spatial distracting task. Together, these results suggest the mode of representation of linguistic information can be indexed behaviorally by susceptibility to retrieval interference that occurs when representations overlap with resources required in a competing task.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus