Our memory for sounds is significantly worse than for visual or tactile things

February 26, 2014
Science Daily/University of Iowa
Remember that sound bite you heard on the radio this morning? The grocery items your spouse asked you to pick up? Chances are, you won't. Researchers have found that when it comes to memory, we don't remember things we hear nearly as well as things we see or touch.

http://images.sciencedaily.com/2014/02/140226174439-large.jpg

Both experiments suggest that the way your mind processes and stores sound may be different from the way it process and stores other types of memories. And that could have big implications for educators, design engineers and advertisers alike.

"As teachers, we want to assume students will remember everything we say. But if you really want something to be memorable you may need to include a visual or hands-on experience, in addition to auditory information," says Poremba.
Previous research has suggested that humans may have superior visual memory, and that hearing words associated with sounds -- rather than hearing the sounds alone -- may aid memory. Bigelow and Poremba's study builds upon those findings by confirming that, indeed, we remember less of what we hear, regardless of whether sounds are linked to words.

The study also is the first to show that our ability to remember what we touch is roughly equal to our ability to remember what we see. The finding is important, because experiments with non-human primates such as monkeys and chimpanzees have shown that they similarly excel at visual and tactile memory tasks, but struggle with auditory tasks. Based on these observations, the authors believe humans' weakness for remembering sounds likely has its roots in the evolution of the primate brain.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226174439.htm

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