The perceptual determinants of repetition learning in auditory space

F.B.R. Parmentier, Murray Maybery, Matt Huitson, Dylan Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The present study includes seven experiments examining the effect of repetition learning (Hebb effect) on auditory spatial serial recall. Participants were asked to remember sequences of spatial locations marked by auditory stimuli, where one sequence was repeated across trials. Consistent with the proposition that the spatial scattering of auditory to-be-remembered stimuli hinders the pre-attentive processing of order information by preventing the perceptual organization of the stimuli into a coherent stream, Experiments 1 and 2 showed little repetition learning for such stimuli. The finding of a repetition learning effect for non-words presented from a single location (Experiment 3) indicated that the absence of repetition learning was not the result of the use of unfamiliar stimuli. However, Experiments 4 and 5 showed, respectively, that repetition learning is observed for non-words scattered across space, and for spatial locations when the stimuli are non-words. Experiment 6 ruled out an account of these data based on feature binding. Experiment 7 ruled out a distinctiveness account and highlighted the role of perceptual organization in repetition learning. Altogether, the data suggest that the presentation of stimuli spoken in a human voice offers a common carrier on the basis of which the locations are perceived as part of a coherent stream, thereby affording the pre-attentive processing of order information and repetition learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-997
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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