The Swedish Hayling task, and its relation to working memory, verbal ability, and speech-recognition-in-noise

Victoria Stenbäck*, Mathias Hällgren, Björn Lyxell, Birgitta Larsby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Cognitive functions and speech-recognition-in-noise were evaluated with a cognitive test battery, assessing response inhibition using the Hayling task, working memory capacity (WMC) and verbal information processing, and an auditory test of speech recognition. The cognitive tests were performed in silence whereas the speech recognition task was presented in noise. Thirty young normally-hearing individuals participated in the study. The aim of the study was to investigate one executive function, response inhibition, and whether it is related to individual working memory capacity (WMC), and how speech-recognition-in-noise relates to WMC and inhibitory control. The results showed a significant difference between initiation and response inhibition, suggesting that the Hayling task taps cognitive activity responsible for executive control. Our findings also suggest that high verbal ability was associated with better performance in the Hayling task. We also present findings suggesting that individuals who perform well on tasks involving response inhibition, and WMC, also perform well on a speech-in-noise task. Our findings indicate that capacity to resist semantic interference can be used to predict performance on speech-in-noise tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-272
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Executive functions
  • inhibition
  • cognitive control
  • working memory capacity
  • speech recognition in noise,
  • hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'The Swedish Hayling task, and its relation to working memory, verbal ability, and speech-recognition-in-noise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this