When Does Between-Sequence Phonological Similarity Promote Irrelevant Sound Disruption?

J.E. Marsh, F. Vachon, Dylan Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Typically, the phonological similarity between to-be-recalled items and TBI auditory stimuli has no impact if recall in serial order is required. However, in the present study, the authors have shown that the free recall, but not serial recall, of lists of phonologically related to-be-remembered items was disrupted by an irrelevant sound stream (end rhymes) sharing similar phonological content. These findings can be explained by the notion that between-sequence phonological similarity effects emerge when category-cueing processes become an important determinant for recall, such as when shared category information can be used as a retrieval aid to cue list items or plausible list candidates. In this case, the presence of categorically similar irrelevant items impairs the retrieval of list items and leads to intrusion error. Implications of these results for theories of auditory distraction are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-248
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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