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While deeply engrossed in reading a novel, a friend asks you a question. Momentarily distracted, you ask them to repeat themselves. However, you quickly realize that you can recall their exact words. What is the reason behind your ability to replay these words in your mind?
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When you were absorbed in reading, your visual attention was focused on the text, and you didn’t fully process or pay attention to your friend’s words. However, the auditory sensory memory (echoic memory) briefly held the sound of their words. When you asked them to repeat themselves, the echoic memory allowed you to play back the exact words in your mind.
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