Irrelevant auditory material affects counting
R. H. Logie and D. A. Baddeley (1987) suggested that event counting may be supported by a phonologically based working-memory structure referred to as the phonological loop. However, inconsistent results concerning the detrimental effects of irrelevant speech on event counting led them to propose that lexical or semantic representations are also involved. In 4 experiments, the authors showed that this extension of Logie and Baddeley's original conceptualization was unnecessary. Instead, the number of irrelevant syllables spoken per time unit, a factor that was not taken into account in previous research, can explain Logie and Baddeley's results. In addition, the present results support the hypothesis that in cases of interference from the auditory channel, correction processes that help to recover the current running total from past running totals are also involved in counting performance.
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