Researchers have shown that working memory is related to a variety of high-level cognitive processes. However, the results of recent research have suggested that may be because of its role in attentional control. In the present experiment, the authors investigated that hypothesis by using an attentional interference task with musical stimuli. Listeners were asked to monitor one ear for either a clarinet or violin tone and to ignore any information in the other ear. On some of the trials, they heard only one tone and on other trials, either the same instrument in both ears or different instruments. Individual differences were measured in working memory and musical experience. The results showed more attentional interference in the different-instrument condition for participants with lower working memory scores, which suggested that working memory involves the ability to control attention to inhibit irrelevant information.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Gender Studies
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)