First International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 90)

Kobe, Japan
November 18-22, 1990

Lexical Memory in Visual and Auditory Modalities: The Case for a Common Mental Lexicon

David B. Pisoni, Ellen E. Garber

Speech Research Laboratory, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

This paper reports the results of a study designed to measure differences in familiarity for spoken and written words. Two sets of 450 English words were randomly selected from a computerized version of Webster's pocket dictionary. Four groups of subjects were presented with both lists of words for familiarity judgements. The first group (W), saw all the words on each list presented visually; the second group (AA) heard all the words; the third and fourth groups (AV, VA) received one list visually and another list auditorily. Subjects rated the familiarity of each word using a seven-point scale. Correlations of the familiarity scores across both lists and modalities were very high. The mean ratings were not significantly different for visual and auditory groups. The absence of modality differences suggests that familiarity effects occur late in the processing system where information from the input modality converges on a common lexical store in long-term memory.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Pisoni, David B. / Garber, Ellen E. (1990): "Lexical memory in visual and auditory modalities: the case for a common mental lexicon", In ICSLP-1990, 401-404.