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Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 201–204 | Cite as

Auditory representational momentum: Musical schemata and modularity

  • Timothy L. Hubbard
Article
  • 117 Downloads

Abstract

Memory for the final position or orientation of a moving target is often shifted or displaced in the direction of anticipated motion, but whether this memory shift is produced by a cognitively impenetrable or modular process is less clear. Previous research induced expectations regarding future target behavior by presenting examples of that behavior or by verbally instructing the subject about future target behavior; in this experiment, no induction occurs, and subjects tap previously existing expectations. The subjects are presented with highly schematic ascending sequences of three discrete tones corresponding to the tonic (I), dominant (V), and octave (VIII) of a major scale. The third inducing tone (i.e., the octave) is either flattened slightly, sharpened slightly, or in tune. When the third inducing stimulus is slightly mistuned, the subjects’ musical schemata would be predicted to shift their memory for the final pitch closer to a proper tuning. The direction of mistuning is varied so that the direction of schema-driven shift is either consistent or inconsistent with the direction of implied pitch motion, thus allowing examination of whether representational momentum is influenced by schemata effects. When the third inducing tone is flattened, memory shift is upward, but when the third inducing tone is sharpened, memory shift is downward. This pattern supports the claim that representational momentum is cognitively penetrable to top-down influence and thus cannot result from a completely modular process.

Keywords

Pitch Motion Representational Momentum Final Pitch Sharp Condition Proper Tuning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy L. Hubbard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyEastern Oregon State CollegeLa Grande

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