Although memory is typically measured by recall or recognition, it is also expressed by fluent or stylized task performance. In this experiment, 12 volunteers (called speakers) completed four experimental stages over a 2-week period. They read printed words aloud in two sessions, before and after exposure to auditory training tokens. They later completed a recognition memory test, discriminating old from new words. Groups of perceptual judges assessed the speakers' vocal imitation by comparing utterances recorded before and after training and deciding which sounded like "better imitations" of the training tokens. The data showed clear evidence of postexposure imitation, with systematic effects that preclude strategic explanations. The contents of episodic memory were reflected by participants' speaking style while they were reading aloud. Together, the imitation and recognition data suggest that memory preserves detailed traces of spoken words; those traces were apparently activated when participants later read the same words in the same context.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)