Effects of speech and non-speech sounds on short-term memory and possible implications for in-vehicle use
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Using auditory output for presenting non-critical but relevant events to the car driver, we compared the effect of four groups of sounds (two speech, two non-speech) on short-term memory and on response time and accuracy. The results indicate that longer speech messages can disrupt short-term memory performance whereas earcons, auditory icons, and single keywords do not cause this effect. Earcons, in turn, lead to comparatively long response times. Based on these experimental data, the suitability of such stimuli for in-vehicle representation is discussed. The type of experimental set-up may enable transfer of the results to comparable settings.