Information is often paired with music to facilitate memory and learning. However, there is a lack of basic research investigating how visual and auditory presentation styles and musical elements might facilitate recall. The purpose of this study is to isolate and determine the effects of visual and auditory presentation styles and musical elements on working memory as measured by sequential monosyllabic digit recall performance. Recall was tested on 60 undergraduate university students during six different conditions: (a) Visual + Auditory Chant, (b) Visual + Auditory Melody, (c) Visual + Auditory Speech, (d) Auditory Chant, (e) Auditory Melody, and (f) Auditory Speech. There was a significant interaction between presentation style and musical element conditions. There were significant differences between auditory and visual + auditory conditions in the melody and speech conditions but not in the chant condition. In all cases, the auditory condition had more accurate recall than the visual + auditory condition, with recall differences largest during the speech condition. There was no significant difference between chant and melody but significant differences between chant and speech and melody and speech in the visual + auditory condition. In the auditory condition, recall accuracy was lower for speech than for melody or chant. There was no significant difference between chant and melody, chant and speech, or melody and speech in the visual + auditory condition. Congruent with existing research, the addition of visual input likely overloaded working memory resulting in worse recall. Implications for clinical practice, limitations, and suggestions for future research are provided.
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© The Author(s) 2018.
Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Presentation style
- auditory and visual recall
- working memory