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September 2021

Infant memory for musical experiences

Author(s): Loman, M. M., Robertson, R. R. W.

Journal/Book: Cognition. 2000; 77: PO Box 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands. Elsevier Science Bv. B15-B23.

Abstract: Recent findings suggest that infants can remember words from stories over 2 week delays (Jusczyk, P. W., gr Hohne, E. A. (1997). Infants' memory for spoken words. Science, 277, 1984-1986). Because music, like language, presents infants with a massively complex auditory learning task, it is possible that infant memory for musical stimuli is equally powerful. Seven-month-old infants heard two Mozart sonata movements daily for 2 weeks. Following a 2 week retention interval, the infants were tested on passages of the familiarized music, and passages taken from similar but novel music. Results from two experiments suggest that the infants retained the familiarized music in long-term memory, and that their listening preferences were affected by the extent to which familiar passages were removed from the musical contexts within which they were originally learned.

Note: Article Saffran JR, Univ Wisconsin, Dept Psychol, Madison,WI 53706 USA

Keyword(s): infants; music; long-term memory; PHRASE STRUCTURE; PREFERENCE; PERCEPTION; SPEECH; FAMILIARITY; PATTERNS; NOVELTY; WORDS


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