Effects of presentation style and musical elements on the sequential working memory of individuals with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

Edward T. Schwartzberg, Michael J Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: While information can be encoded and decoded via various channels, there is a lack of basic research investigating how presentation styles and musical elements might impact working memory of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as well as those who are neuro-typical (NT). Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of presentation style (live versus recorded) and musical elements (melody versus rhythm) on the working memory of individuals with and without ASD. Method: Participants (n = 29 individuals with ASD and n = 30 NT university students) listened to four separate sequences of seven randomized monosyllabic words. Sequences were delivered in live and recorded presentation styles with melodic or rhythmic musical elements. To assess working memory, the participants’ tasks were to sequentially recall the information within each condition. Results: Participants demonstrated significantly more accurate recall during the live versus the recorded conditions. There was no significant recall difference between the melodic and rhythmic musical elements. NT participants demonstrated more accurate recall than those with ASD. Conclusions: The findings point to the possibility that information paired with music delivered in live presentation will increase the likelihood of recall and subsequent learning. Implications for clinical practice, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Volume57
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Live music
  • Melody
  • Rhythm
  • Video recording
  • Working memory

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