Poster E10, Saturday, August 18, 3:00 – 4:45 pm, Room 2000AB

Emotionally expressed voices are retained in memory following a single exposure

YOON JI KIM1,2, John Sidtis2,1, Diana Van Lancker Sidtis1,2;1New York University, 2Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

Studies in biology suggest the evolutionary significance of voice recognition ability across species as occurring nearly instantaneously between parent and offspring. However, this is rarely taken into account in voice recognition studies, which assume that humans acquire voices as familiar through repeated exposure. Here, we investigate whether humans can acquire a newly familiar voice from a single, 1-minute exposure to spontaneous speech, given a personally engaging context. Although it has been established that emotional experiences are more likely to be remembered and consolidated in memory, little is known about whether emotion advantage holds for voices. To address the effect of emotional context on the acquisition of voices, recognition of emotional and neutral voices was examined at two retention intervals. Listener-participants were presented with a series of emotional and neutral videotaped narratives produced by performers, and tested on the recognition of excerpted voice samples both immediately and a week after exposure. The recognition task was to decide whether they had heard the voice before. Each excerpt contained a voice from an exposed videotaped narrative, but utilized different verbal materials taken from a second narrative provided by the same performer. Results revealed that voices that were exposed during the video session were more often correctly recognized as having been heard before than unexposed voices. Further, participants were more likely to retain memory for voices with emotional, nuanced tones than those in neutral tones. This emotional advantage became notably salient after a one-week delay, reaching statistical significance. These findings provide the first evidence that new voices can be acquired rapidly from one-time exposure and that emotional context facilitates inducting new voices into a repertory of personally familiar voices in long-term memory. The results are concordant with evidence of neurology, lending support to differential brain mechanisms subserving processing of familiar and unfamiliar voices. References Cahill, L., Haier, R. J., Fallon, J., Alkire, M. T., Tang, C., Keator, D., Wu, J., & McGaugh, J. L. (1996). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 93, 8016–8021. Charrier, I., Mathevon, N., & Jouventin, P. (2001). Nature, 412, 873. Heuer, F. & Reisberg, D. (1990). Memory and Cognition, 18, 496-506. LaBar, K. S. & Phelps, E. A. (1998). Psychological Sciences, 9(6), 490-493. Nygaard, L. C., Sommers, M. S., & Pisoni, D. B. (1994). Psychological Sciences, 5, 42–46. Searby, A., Jouventin, P., & Aubin, T. (2004). Animal Behavior, 67, 615-625. von Kriegstein, K., Kleinschmidt, A., Sterzer, P., & Giraud, A.L. (2005). Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 17, 367–376.

Topic Area: Perception: Speech Perception and Audiovisual Integration

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