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Exploring long-term modality effects: Vocalization leads to best retention.
Gathercole, S.E. & Conway, M.A.
Memory and Cognition, 16, 110-119.
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Five experiments employing an incidental learning procedure explored the effects of different input modalities upon the long-term retention of word lists. In each of the first four experiments mixed-mode presentations were employed featuring three different modes of presentation. In the baseline presentation mode in each experiment subjects read words silently. Other modes were vocalize or read and hear (Experiment 1), read and hear or mouth (Experiment 2), vocalize or write (Experiment 3), and vocalize or write without seeing the written word (Experiment 4). In the final experiment separate groups of subjects were presented with pure mode lists which were either read silently, write unseen, write seen, mouth, hear, read and hear, or vocalize. The principal findings were that auditory presentation procedures led to best memory performance and that of these, only vocalization was found to consistently enhance retention. These findings are conceptualized within a framework which proposes that both the temporal distinctiveness of auditory information and self-generated cues are employed in the process of retrieval.