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October 2021

The Effects of Input Organization and Rehearsal on the Rhythmic Short-term Memory of Mentally Retarded and Nonretarded Subjects

Abstract: The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of input organization and rehearsal strategies on the performance of a rhythmic imitation task. Subjects were mentally retarded adults and two groups of nonretarded individuals matched for CA and MA respectively. Subjects (n=6 in each group) were seen individually, selected from a screening test, and trained prior to the experiment. The rhythmic imitation task consisted of 24 items, each composed of two four-beat phrases. Results from two 2X3 ANOVA's indicated that there were no differences between retarded and normal groups in overall rhythmic short-term memory. All groups performed significantly better on redundant versus non-redundant rhythmic patterns (p<.025), and on primacy versus recency patterns (p<.001). Significant interactions were found between groups and conditions of both input organization (p<.001) and rehearsal (p<.05). Although the need for input organization and rehearsal did affect toh memory of all subjects, it had the least effect on the CA-matched nonretarded group. On an interactional basis, the retarded and MA-matched groups performed similarly on tasks measuring both input organization and rehearsal strategies. The need for future research examining short-term memory on musical versus verbal tasks was strongly suggested.

Note: input-organization, rehearsal.

Keyword(s): mental-retardation, developmental-disabilities, input, rehearsal, rhythm, rhytmic-stimuli, short-term-memory.

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