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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.


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Three examples of simplified Chinese characters used as stimuli.
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brainsci-03-01244-f002: Three examples of simplified Chinese characters used as stimuli.

Mentions: Chinese Character Memory Task. The stimuli for the memory task were composed of 70 single characters, each written in their corresponding simplified Chinese character. Characters had a frequency between 2 and 5921 per 662,700 occurrences and a mean number of strokes 8.24 [42]. These were divided into a single practice list of 10 characters, as well as 3 experimental lists of 20 characters each. Within each list, half of the characters were randomly chosen to be targets, while the other half were used as lures on the recognition test. Characters appeared approximately 6 cm high and 8 cm wide on a computer screen (See Figure 2 for samples of characters).


Representation of linguistic information determines its susceptibility to memory interference.

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

Three examples of simplified Chinese characters used as stimuli.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

brainsci-03-01244-f002: Three examples of simplified Chinese characters used as stimuli.
Mentions: Chinese Character Memory Task. The stimuli for the memory task were composed of 70 single characters, each written in their corresponding simplified Chinese character. Characters had a frequency between 2 and 5921 per 662,700 occurrences and a mean number of strokes 8.24 [42]. These were divided into a single practice list of 10 characters, as well as 3 experimental lists of 20 characters each. Within each list, half of the characters were randomly chosen to be targets, while the other half were used as lures on the recognition test. Characters appeared approximately 6 cm high and 8 cm wide on a computer screen (See Figure 2 for samples of characters).

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