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Title Individual Differences in Working Memory Capacity Influence Spoken WordRecognition
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Publication Date
Degree PhD
Discipline/Department Psychology
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher The Ohio State University
Abstract Prior work has shown that when speech is unclear, listeners show a greater dependenceupon semantic than on acoustic information to aid word identification when distractingstimuli (e.g., other talkers) are present. The current project extended this work to explorewhether individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) would influence thelikelihood that listeners will depend on the biasing information when distracted. In fiveexperiments, participants heard sentences that contained an early target word with orwithout noise at its onset and a subsequent word that was semantically biased in favor ofthe target word or one of its lexical competitors (e.g., The wing had an exquisite set offeathers or The wing had an exquisite set of diamonds where diamonds would besemantically associated with ring). The sentences were presented in the presence ofdistracters ranging in their degree of signal-similarity to that of the sentence (e.g., anotherspeaker vs. an everyday nonspeech sound). Participants made target word identificationand sentence sensibility judgments for each sentence they heard. The findings showedthat those with lower WMC were more likely to depend upon biasing than on acousticsignal information, but only when the signal was masked by noise. In contrast, those withhigher WMC showed less dependence upon the biasing information than those withlower WMC, even when the signal was masked by noise. Although performance acrossdistracter similarity was not influenced by WMC, the likelihood of being able toanticipate what distraction would be heard was shown to influence performance as afunction of WMC. A discussion of the role of WMC in spoken word recognition,especially during distraction, is provided and the potential mechanisms involved in thisprocess are considered.
Subjects/Keywords Acoustics; Behaviorial Sciences; Cognitive Psychology; Experimental Psychology; Language; Linguistics; Psychology; spoken word recognition; working memory capacity; subsequent context; dichotic listening; individual differences
Contributors Mark, Pitt (Advisor)
Language en
Rights unrestricted ; This thesis or dissertation is protected by copyright: all rights reserved. It may not be copied or redistributed beyond the terms of applicable copyright laws.
Country of Publication us
Format application/pdf
Record ID oai:etd.ohiolink.edu:osu1365177772
Repository ohiolink
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2016-12-22
Grantor The Ohio State University

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