Auditory memory function in expert chess players

Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2015 Oct 6;29:275. eCollection 2015.


Background: Chess is a game that involves many aspects of high level cognition such as memory, attention, focus and problem solving. Long term practice of chess can improve cognition performances and behavioral skills. Auditory memory, as a kind of memory, can be influenced by strengthening processes following long term chess playing like other behavioral skills because of common processing pathways in the brain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the auditory memory function of expert chess players using the Persian version of dichotic auditory-verbal memory test.

Methods: The Persian version of dichotic auditory-verbal memory test was performed for 30 expert chess players aged 20-35 years and 30 non chess players who were matched by different conditions; the participants in both groups were randomly selected. The performance of the two groups was compared by independent samples t-test using SPSS version 21.

Results: The mean score of dichotic auditory-verbal memory test between the two groups, expert chess players and non-chess players, revealed a significant difference (p≤ 0.001). The difference between the ears scores for expert chess players (p= 0.023) and non-chess players (p= 0.013) was significant. Gender had no effect on the test results.

Conclusion: Auditory memory function in expert chess players was significantly better compared to non-chess players. It seems that increased auditory memory function is related to strengthening cognitive performances due to playing chess for a long time.

Keywords: Auditory Memory; Chess Players; Dichotic.