Serial order recall for rapid auditory presentations of vowel sequences: The effect of age

Daniel Fogerty, Larry Humes

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Temporal processing declines with age may reduce memory of rapidly presented auditory sequences. The current experiment investigated vowel sequence recall for two-item and four-item vowel sequences presented at six different stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA) that spanned identification performance at 50% correct. Young, middle-age, and older adults participated in all tasks. For two-item sequences a functional difference was observed between the age groups. Older and younger listeners had a qualitatively different pattern of recall, while performance for the middle age group approximated performance of either the young or older group, dependent upon the presentation rate (i.e., SO A). For the four-item sequences, results demonstrated the standard serial position curve. Increasing the rate of presentation by decreasing the SO A had the most profound effect on the middle items of the sequence for which subjects had the poorest retention. Overall, when temporal order performance was equated at the presentation rate corresponding to each individual's 50% threshold, recall accuracy for each position across the age groups was highly similar. These results suggest that declining temporal order performance of rapid sequences for older listeners is not the result of poorer recall performance, but is more related to sensory processing declines of rapidly presented temporal sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number060060
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event21st International Congress on Acoustics, ICA 2013 - 165th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Jun 2 2013Jun 7 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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