Vol. 14, No. 3
The effects of linguistic mediation on the identification of environmental sounds
*Department of Cognitive Science, UCSD and ^Center for Research in Language, UCSD
Recent studies have suggested that environmental sound recognition shares many of the same processing demands - and possibly neural resources - as language comprehension. Some investigators have suggested that the tight correlations between linguistic and environmental sound deficits observed in aphasic patients - as well as the spatial overlap in functional activation patterns shown by fMRI - may be due to linguistic mediation of environmental sound processing. Here, we show that covert naming of environmental sound recognition exerts an additional processing load above and beyond that used for recognition alone. Furthermore, naming does not increase recognition accuracy above the levels for recognition alone. Thus, linguistic mediation of environmental sound recognition appears not to be an important or even natural component of most participants’ processing strategies.