Visual Information Can Hinder Working Memory Processing of Speech PurposeThe purpose of the present study was to evaluate the new Cognitive Spare Capacity Test (CSCT), which measures aspects of working memory capacity for heard speech in the audiovisual and auditory-only modalities of presentation.MethodIn Experiment 1, 20 young adults with normal hearing performed the CSCT and an independent battery of ... Article
Article  |   August 2013
Visual Information Can Hinder Working Memory Processing of Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sushmit Mishra
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Sweden
  • Thomas Lunner
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Sweden
  • Stefan Stenfelt
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Sweden
  • Jerker Rönnberg
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Sweden
  • Mary Rudner
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Sweden
  • Correspondence to Sushmit Mishra: sushmit.mishra@liu.se
  • Editor: Craig Champlin
    Editor: Craig Champlin×
  • Associate Editor: Kenneth Grant
    Associate Editor: Kenneth Grant×
  • © American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article   |   August 2013
Visual Information Can Hinder Working Memory Processing of Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1120-1132. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0033)
History: Received January 23, 2012 , Revised September 13, 2012 , Accepted December 9, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1120-1132. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0033)
History: Received January 23, 2012; Revised September 13, 2012; Accepted December 9, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 13

PurposeThe purpose of the present study was to evaluate the new Cognitive Spare Capacity Test (CSCT), which measures aspects of working memory capacity for heard speech in the audiovisual and auditory-only modalities of presentation.

MethodIn Experiment 1, 20 young adults with normal hearing performed the CSCT and an independent battery of cognitive tests. In the CSCT, they listened to and recalled 2-digit numbers according to instructions inducing executive processing at 2 different memory loads. In Experiment 2, 10 participants performed a less executively demanding free recall task using the same stimuli.

ResultsCSCT performance demonstrated an effect of memory load and was associated with independent measures of executive function and inference making but not with general working memory capacity. Audiovisual presentation was associated with lower CSCT scores but higher free recall performance scores.

ConclusionsCSCT is an executively challenging test of the ability to process heard speech. It captures cognitive aspects of listening related to sentence comprehension that are quantitatively and qualitatively different from working memory capacity. Visual information provided in the audiovisual modality of presentation can hinder executive processing in working memory of nondegraded speech material.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research Grant 2007-0788, awarded to the fifth author. We thank Niklas Rönnberg and Björn Lidestam for their assistance in recording, and we thank Elisabet Classon, Jan Classon, Cecilia Nakeva Von Mentzer, Cecilia Henricson, and Emelie Nordqvist for their assistance in stimulus preparation.
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