City Research Online

A Curved Honulo improves your Short-Term and Long-Term Memory

Saint-Aubin, J., Guitard, D. & Poirier, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1169-6424 (2022). A Curved Honulo improves your Short-Term and Long-Term Memory. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, doi: 10.1037/cep0000279


During his distinguished career, Bill Hockley contributed to memory research in many ways, with work characterized by rigorous and innovative experimental designs. One of the areas he has explored is that of memory for associative information. We echo this interest here and attempt to emulate his careful experimental attitude. We report four experiments which examined how previously established links can support the development of new episodic associations. More specifically, we tested the idea that sound-symbolism links can support learning of new associations. Sound-symbolism links are relationships between phonemes and object characteristics that participants find natural − even if they have never encountered the items before. For instance, the nonword “honulo” is more readily seen to refer to a shape with curved contours than to a shape that has sharp angles. In Experiment 1, 70 participants studied three pairs and their memory for the associations between the members of each pair was tested in a paired-recognition task. Results demonstrate that sound-symbolism associations support the learning of new associations. Experiment 2 confirmed that the effect is replicated in a between-participants design. In Experiment 3, we replicated the findings with a 30-second filled interval between presentation and test, and in Experiment 4, we extended the delay to 2 minutes, establishing that the pattern is also found with a paradigm more typical of episodic memory. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of associative memory, while referring to some of the ideas Bill Hockley championed in his own work.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the CPA journal. It is not the copy of record. This article has been accepted for publication in Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology.
Publisher Keywords: Sound-symbolism, episodic memory, associative memory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Accepted Version
Download (515kB) | Preview



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login