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Audio on the go: The effect of audio cues on memory in driving

An inability to recall details from an otherwise uneventful drive on a familiar route is a common experience to many. Whether this amnesia for everyday driving is because we don't actually form strong memories when we are driving on autopilot or whether this is because we simply can't find those memories when we try to later is an interesting question, not only for driving, but for memory and skilled performance more generally. The present study sought to determine whether recall could be aided by reinstating an auditory cue that was present during the drive. Twenty-five participants drove three 9 km routes on familiar roads and then were asked a series of questions about the details of the drives. Three auditory cues (music, radio documentary, or periodic verbal markers) and a visual cue were used as contextual stimuli during the drives and as post-drive recall cues. The music and verbal markers produced better recall than the radio documentary. Although proceduralised driving on a familiar road may make incidental details of the drive difficult to recall, those details are recoverable with a sufficiently robust recall cue.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Dua, M. J., & Charlton, S. G. (2019). Audio on the go: The effect of audio cues on memory in driving. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 1, 100004–100004. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trip.2019.100004
Elsevier BV
© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open accessarticle under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).