Short-term memory for tonal and verbal information: Comparison with absolute and non-absolute pitch possessors


This study examined the difference in the storage of pitch and phonological information in absolute pitch (AP) and non-AP (NAP) possessors. In a recognition task using musical tones (pitch information), speech sounds (phonological information), and visual patterns, participants were asked to retain two stimulus sequences. In the same type condition, the nature of the first and second stimulus set was different (e.g., one sequence was musical tones and the other was speech sounds). In the different type condition, the nature of the two sequences was the same (e.g., both sequences were musical tones). We found that, in NAP possessors, the recognition rate of musical tones and speech sounds in the different type condition was higher than in the same type condition. In AP possessors, however, the recognition rate of musical tones revealed no difference between these two conditions. These results suggest the use of different strategy in retaining musical tones between AP and NAP possessors.

Back to Table of Contents