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August 2019

A comparison of digit span scores, rhythm span scores, and diagnostic factors of mentally retarded persons

Author(s): Decuir, A. A., Humphrey, T., digit-span, rhythm-span.

Journal/Book: Music Therapy: The Journal of the AAMT. 1984; Philadelphia, PA. American Association for Music Therapy P.O. Box 27177 19118 Philadelphia, PA USA. journal article.

Abstract: Auditory memory, the capacity for storage of auditory impressions and experiences, has traditionally bees assessed in young children through the use of digit span tasks. This study investigated the relationship among digit span scores, rhythm span scores, and diagnostic factors of mentally retarded persons. The subjects were 25 individuals, aged 12-22 with IQs below 62. Digit span and rhythm span tasks were constructed by the experimenters. The digit span task required subjects to repeat spoken series of digits. The rhythm span task required subjects to reproduce even drum beats in response to prerecorded rhythmic stimuli. Subjects were tested individually. Responses were taped and analyzed for accuracy. Results revialed a significant relationship (p<.01) between digit span and rhythm span scores, and a significant relationship (p<.01) between digit span scores and the mental ages of subjects. These results suggest that musical stimuli may, after additional researcg, be used to assess auditory memory.

Keyword(s): auditory-memory, rhythm, mental-retardation, developmental-disabilities.


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