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Conceptual and Visual Features Contribute to Visual Memory for Natural Images

Huebner, GM; Gegenfurtner, KR; (2012) Conceptual and Visual Features Contribute to Visual Memory for Natural Images. PLoS ONE , 7 (6) , Article e37575. 10.1371/journal.pone.0037575. Green open access

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Abstract

We examined the role of conceptual and visual similarity in a memory task for natural images. The important novelty of our approach was that visual similarity was determined using an algorithm [1] instead of being judged subjectively. This similarity index takes colours and spatial frequencies into account. For each target, four distractors were selected that were (1) conceptually and visually similar, (2) only conceptually similar, (3) only visually similar, or (4) neither conceptually nor visually similar to the target image. Participants viewed 219 images with the instruction to memorize them. Memory for a subset of these images was tested subsequently. In Experiment 1, participants performed a two-alternative forced choice recognition task and in Experiment 2, a yes/no-recognition task. In Experiment 3, testing occurred after a delay of one week. We analyzed the distribution of errors depending on distractor type. Performance was lowest when the distractor image was conceptually and visually similar to the target image, indicating that both factors matter in such a memory task. After delayed testing, these differences disappeared. Overall performance was high, indicating a large-capacity, detailed visual long-term memory.

Type: Article
Title: Conceptual and Visual Features Contribute to Visual Memory for Natural Images
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037575
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037575
Language: English
Additional information: © 2012 Huebner, Gegenfurtner. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This work was supported by a scholarship of the DFG Graduate School "NeuroACt" to Gesche M. Huebner (http://www.dfg.de/en/index.jsp). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1384841
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