VERBAL PROCESSES IN VISUAL SHORT‐ AND LONG‐TERM MEMORY: EVIDENCE AGAINST THE HYPOTHESIS OF INDEPENDENT VISUAL AND VERBAL CODES?*

Authors:
Wolfgang Klimesch
Published Online:
27 Sep 2007
DOI:
10.1080/00207598208247428
Pages:
9-17
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 17 Issue 1-4

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The assumption of independent visual and verbal codes was tested by the use of a special kind of visual recognition task. Subjects had to distinguish between targets and similar distractors which differed only in terms of perspective cues. It is argued that in this case the recognition performance depends entirely on the accuracy of visual codes, and that verbalizing the tachistoscopically exposed targets cannot lead to an improvement if the assumption of independent visual and verbal codes is correct. The results however show that visual characteristics are better retained if targets have been verbalized. It is concluded, therefore, that verbalizing a visual short‐term memory code not only leads to a better semantic description but also to a better identification of ‘purely’ visual information.

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