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October 2021

Localizing localization: The role of working memory in auditory localization

Author(s): Groeger, J. A., Withington, D. J.

Journal/Book: Int J Psychol. 1999; 34: 27 Church Rd, Hove BN3 2FA, East Sussex, England. Psychology Press. 317-321.

Abstract: It is unclear from current accounts of working memory which, if any, of its components might be involved in our ability to specify the location of a sound source. A series of studies were performed to assess the degree of interference in localization of broadband noise, by a concurrent articulatory suppression (articulatory loop-Experiment 1), serial recall (phonological store and articulatory loop-Experiment 2), and Paced Visual Serial Addition Test (central executive-Experiment 3). No significant disruption of auditory localization was revealed by the first two experiments, ruling out a role for the phonological loop in auditory localization. In Experiment 3, a large degree of error was exhibited in localization, when performed concurrently with the addition task, indicating a requirement for central resources. This suggestion is confirmed by comparison of localization performance across all three studies, which demonstrates a clear deterioration in performance as the demand of concurrent tasks on central resources increases. Finally, concurrent localization was shown to disrupt the primacy portion of the serial position curve, as well as performance on the Paced Visual Serial Addition Test.

Note: Article Merat N, Univ Leeds, Sch Psychol, Leeds LS2 9JT, W Yorkshire, ENGLAND

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