Auditory and visual recall of forward and backward digit spans

Percept Mot Skills. 1996 Jun;82(3 Pt 2):1099-103. doi: 10.2466/pms.1996.82.3c.1099.


Increasingly, clinicians obtain data from tests across modalities. Little actual information, however, exists as to normal patterns. An example is auditory and visual recall of digit span. The effects of modality on recall of digit span, sequence, and order were examined with 80 subjects (M age 24.3 yr.). Subjects were given the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised, and a research version of MicroCog: Assessment of Cognitive Functioning. Both contain forward and backward digit spans. Recall for visual presentation was significantly stronger than for auditory presentation of backward digit span. Recall for visual backward digit span was also superior to auditory backward digit span when the sequence of presentation was controlled. The mean number of digits recalled was higher when visual digit span was preceded by auditory digit span.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Reversal Learning*
  • Serial Learning*
  • Speech Perception*
  • Vocational Education
  • Vocational Guidance
  • Wechsler Scales