Auditory Working Memory

  • Katrin Schulze
  • Stefan Koelsch
  • Victoria Williamson
Part of the Springer Handbooks book series (SHB)


This chapter reviews behavioral and neuroimaging findings on:
  1. 1.

    The comparison between verbal and tonal working memory (WM )

  2. 2.

    The impact of musical training

  3. 3.

    The role of sound mimicry for auditory memory

  4. 4.

    The influence of long-term memory (LTM ) on auditory WM performance, i. e., the effect of strategy use on auditory WM.


Whereas the core structures, namely Broca's area, the premotor cortex, and the inferior parietal lobule, show a substantial overlap, results in musicians suggest that there are also different subcomponents involved during verbal and tonal WM. If confirmed, these results indicate that musicians develop either independent tonal and phonological loops or unique processing strategies that allow novel interactive use of the WM systems. We furthermore present and discuss data that provide substantial support for the hypothesis that motor-related processes assist auditory WM, and as a result we propose a strong link between sound mimicry and auditory WM.


affected KE family (FOXP2 mutation)


functional magnetic resonance imaging


inferior parietal lobule


intraparietal sulcus


long-term memory


mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex


supplementary motor area


supramarginal gyrus




short-term memory


working memory


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katrin Schulze
    • 1
  • Stefan Koelsch
    • 2
  • Victoria Williamson
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept. of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of PsychologyHeidelberg UniversityHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.University of BergenBergenNorway
  3. 3.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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