Auditory and Visual Short-Term Memory Binding in Healthy Young Adults
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Research into visual short-term memory (STM) binding has uncovered locational and functional differences in STM binding of information of specific qualities, as well as a general cost of STM binding as opposed to STM for single items for visual and verbal information. In addition, a deficit of this function has been demonstrated to portray high sensitivity and specificity to patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), making the mapping of these functions of great importance for the possible use in a neuropsychological assessment as a preclinical marker of AD pathology. The possibility that there is a unified STM binding system responsible for information of specific qualities but of different sensory modalities has yet to be tested. The present study investigated this by assessing conjunctional (two items combined in one) STM colour-shape and timbre-pitch bindings. A positive but non-significant correlation between the scores on STM binding was found indicating that as people get better at STM binding of visual information they also tend to get better at auditory STM binding. The results here extend the dissociation between STM binding and STM for single items found in the visual and verbal domains to include the auditory domain. The results of the analyses performed indicate separate STM binding systems of similar construction.
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