Modality effects in the coding reproduction of rhythms

Arthur M. Glenberg, Stuart Mann, Lisa Altman, Tim Forman, Sean Procise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The temporal coding assumption is that time of presentation is coded more accurately for auditory events than for visual events. This assumption has been used to explain the modality effect, in which recall of recent auditory events is superior to recall of recent visual events. We tested the temporal coding assumption by examining the coding and reproduction of quintessentially temporal stimuli-rhythms. The rhythms were produced by sequences of short and long auditory stimuli or short and long visual stimuli; in either case, the task was to reproduce the temporal sequence. The results from four experiments demonstrated reproduction of auditory rhythms superior to that of visual rhythms. We conclude that speech-based explanations of modality effects cannot accommodate these findings, whereas the findings are consistent with explanations based on the temporal coding assumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-383
Number of pages11
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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