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J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 1997 Sep;23(5):1106-21.

Activating representations in permanent memory: different benefits for pictures and words.

Author information

  • Department of Psychology, Ohio State University, USA. seifert@unix1.malone.edu

Abstract

Previous research has suggested that pictures have privileged access to semantic memory (W. R. Glaser, 1992), but J. Theios and P. C. Amrhein (1989b) argued that prior studies inappropriately used large pictures and small words. In Experiment 1, participants categorized pictures reliably faster than words, even when both types of items were of optimal perceptual size. In Experiment 2, a poststimulus flashmask and judgments about internal features did not eliminate picture superiority, indicating that it was not due to differences in early visual processing or analysis of visible features. In Experiment 3, when participants made judgments about whether items were related, latencies were reliably faster for categorically related pictures than for words, but there was no picture advantage for noncategorically associated items. Results indicate that pictures have privileged access to semantic memory for categories, but that neither pictures nor words seem to have privileged access to noncategorical associations.

PMID:
9293624
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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