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Separating semantic and perceptual factors in the picture superiority effect

Stenberg, Georg LU (2003) In European Society of Cognitive Psychology
Abstract
Memory for pictures is known to surpass memory for corresponding concrete words, an effect often attributed to the more distinctive perceptual form of pictures. A consequence of this view is that picture superiority would not survive a transformation in which only semantic, not perceptual, features were preserved from study to test, such as studying a picture of a horse and recognising the word "horse". In the present experiments, either pictures or Swedish words were studied. Recognition tests were performed with items in either their original form or translated into English words. (Participants were Swedish students with adequate command of English.) Across three experiments that varied processing depth of the orienting task, the... (More)
Memory for pictures is known to surpass memory for corresponding concrete words, an effect often attributed to the more distinctive perceptual form of pictures. A consequence of this view is that picture superiority would not survive a transformation in which only semantic, not perceptual, features were preserved from study to test, such as studying a picture of a horse and recognising the word "horse". In the present experiments, either pictures or Swedish words were studied. Recognition tests were performed with items in either their original form or translated into English words. (Participants were Swedish students with adequate command of English.) Across three experiments that varied processing depth of the orienting task, the advantage for items studied as pictures was preserved in English-language recognition. Further, a multinomial model with separate parameters for form-based and semantically based recognition was fitted to the data. Results showed (1) that encoding of both semantic and perceptual features was more effective for pictures than for words and (2) that encoding of pictures was less affected by orienting task than encoding of words. The results suggest that pick-up of both semantic and perceptual features is more automatic and efficient for pictures than for words. (Less)
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ab5d7e8f-5921-4c78-a807-7695c659a704 (old id 1127317)
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@inproceedings{ab5d7e8f-5921-4c78-a807-7695c659a704,
  abstract     = {Memory for pictures is known to surpass memory for corresponding concrete words, an effect often attributed to the more distinctive perceptual form of pictures. A consequence of this view is that picture superiority would not survive a transformation in which only semantic, not perceptual, features were preserved from study to test, such as studying a picture of a horse and recognising the word "horse". In the present experiments, either pictures or Swedish words were studied. Recognition tests were performed with items in either their original form or translated into English words. (Participants were Swedish students with adequate command of English.) Across three experiments that varied processing depth of the orienting task, the advantage for items studied as pictures was preserved in English-language recognition. Further, a multinomial model with separate parameters for form-based and semantically based recognition was fitted to the data. Results showed (1) that encoding of both semantic and perceptual features was more effective for pictures than for words and (2) that encoding of pictures was less affected by orienting task than encoding of words. The results suggest that pick-up of both semantic and perceptual features is more automatic and efficient for pictures than for words.},
  author       = {Stenberg, Georg},
  booktitle    = {European Society of Cognitive Psychology},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Separating semantic and perceptual factors in the picture superiority effect},
  year         = {2003},
}