Integration of nonthematic details in pictures and passages.

C. L. Viera, Donald Homa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Nonthematic details in naturalistic scenes were manipulated to produce four stimulus versions: color photos, black-white copies, and elaborated and unelaborated line drawings (Experiment 1); analogous verbal descriptions of each visual version were produced for Experiment 2. In Experiment 1, two or three different versions of a scene were presented in the mixed condition; the same version of the scene was repeated either two or three times in the same condition, and a 1-presentation control condition was also included. In Experiment 2, the same presentation conditions were used across different groups of subjects who either viewed the pictures or heard the descriptions. An old/new recognition test was given in which the nonstudied versions of the studied items were used as foils. Higher false recognition performances for the mixed condition were found for the visual materials in both experiments, and in the second experiment the verbal materials produced equivalently high levels of false recognition for both same and mixed conditions. Additionally, in Experiment 2 the patterns of performances across material conditions were differentially affected by the manipulation of detail in the four stimulus versions. These differences across materials suggest that the integration of semantically consistent details across temporally separable presentations is facilitated when the stimuli do not provide visual/physical attributes to enhance discrimination of different presentations. Further, the evidence derived from the visual scenes in both experiments indicates that the semantic schema abstracted from a picture is not the sole mediator of recognition performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-516
Number of pages26
JournalThe American journal of psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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