Visual similarity effects on short-term memory for order: The case of verbally labeled pictorial stimuli
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Four experiments examined the effect of visual similarity on immediate memory for order. Experiments 1 and 2 used easily nameable line drawings. Following a sequential presentation in either silent or suppression conditions, participants were presented with the drawings in a new, random order and were required to remember their original serial position. In Experiment 3, participants first learned to associate a verbal label with an abstract matrix pattern. Then they completed an immediate memory task in which they had to name the matrices aloud during presentation. At recall, the task required remembering either the order of the matrices or the order of their names. In Experiment 4, participants learned to associate nonword labels with schematic line drawings of faces; the phonemic similarity of the verbal labels was also manipulated. All four experiments indicate that the representations supporting performance comprise both verbal and visual features. The results are consistent with a multiattribute encoding view.
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