Candice C Morey
Cardiff University | CU · School of Psychology
PhD, University of Missouri
Something to talk about: Why is verbal information so much more resistant to distraction than visual information?
All information is not equal in memory. Immediate memory for novel visual information is very restricted. What little we do retain from a scene is disrupted by a variety of things, even stimuli quite different from the imagery we are attempting to remember. In contrast, verbal information is quite robust. Currently, models of working memory do not adequately capture this disparity. I will argue that this asymmetry is best explained by how precisely preparation of a response maps onto the information remembered. Speech preserves verbal details with high fidelity, whereas the responses used to indicate memory for visual imagery communicate comparatively little. Speech could therefore be seen as a ”hack” that can be deployed to enhance our very limited, general immediate memory capacity when words are what we need to remember. I will consider how this should influence working memory theory and its application.