Humans remember what they see better than what they hear
Researchers at the University of Iowa have found that when it comes to memory, we don't remember things we hear nearly as well as things we see or touch.
"As it turns out, there is merit to the Chinese proverb 'I hear, and I forget; I see, and I remember," lead author of the study and UI graduate student, James Bigelow said.
"We tend to think that the parts of our brain wired for memory are integrated. But our findings indicate our brain may use separate pathways to process information. Even more, our study suggests the brain may process auditory information differently than visual and tactile information, and alternative strategies - such as increased mental repetition - may be needed when trying to improve memory," Amy Poremba, associate professor in the UI Department of Psychology and corresponding author on the paper, said.
Bigelow and Poremba discovered that when more than 100 UI undergraduate students were exposed to a variety of sounds, visuals and things that could be felt, the students were least apt to remember the sounds they had heard.
Experiments suggest that the way your mind processes and stores sound may be different from the way it process and stores other types of memories. And that could have big implications for educators, design engineers and advertisers alike.
The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.
(Posted on 27-02-2014)