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Mem Cognit. 2003 Jan;31(1):51-64.

Auditory feedback and memory for music performance: sound evidence for an encoding effect.

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  • 1Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA. sf@sfinney.org


Research on the effects of context and task on learning and memory has included approaches that emphasize processes during learning (e.g., Craik & Tulving, 1975) and approaches that emphasize a match of conditions during learning with conditions during a later test of memory (e.g., Morris, Bransford, & Franks, 1977; Proteau, 1992; Tulving & Thomson, 1973). We investigated the effects of auditory context on learning and retrieval in three experiments on memorized music performance (a form of serial recall). Auditory feedback (presence or absence) was manipulated while pianists learned musical pieces from notation and when they later played the pieces from memory. Auditory feedback during learning significantly improved later recall. However, auditory feedback at test did not significantly affect recall, nor was there an interaction between conditions at learning and test. Auditory feedback in music performance appears to be a contextual factor that affects learning but is relatively independent of retrieval conditions.

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