October 2003
Volume 3, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2003
Sex differences in binding color to spatial location in picture recognition memory
Author Affiliations
  • Kazunori Morikawa
    Otaru University of Commerce, Japan
  • Bartlett W Mel
    University of Southern California, USA
Journal of Vision October 2003, Vol.3, 684. doi:10.1167/3.9.684
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      Kazunori Morikawa, Bartlett W Mel; Sex differences in binding color to spatial location in picture recognition memory. Journal of Vision 2003;3(9):684. doi: 10.1167/3.9.684.

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Abstract

We investigated the effects of color on picture recognition memory using 240 color photographs of rooms, which were categorically homogeneous and difficult to verbalize. In the learning phase, subjects were shown 60 color photos and 60 grayscale photos for 5 seconds each. After a 30-minute delay, the testing phase began, in which 120 old photos and 120 new photos were presented, one at a time. In Experiment 1, half of the old color photos were rendered in grayscale, and half of the old grayscale photos were presented in color. Recognition performance was best for C/C, and became lower for G/G, C/G, and G/C in this order. Experiments 2 & 3 examined whether representations of colors in memory are tied to representations of spatial location. Ten male and ten female subjects participated in each experiment, totaling 40. In the testing phase, half the old color and old grayscale photos were left-right reversed. For grayscale photos, reversal had no effect on recognition, suggesting that memories of grayscale shapes are only weakly bound to spatial location. In females, reversal had no effect on recognition of color photos, which was better than recognition of grayscale photos (p< .01). In males, recognition of unaltered color photos was better than recognition of unaltered grayscale photos (p< .01), but recognition of left-right reversed color photos was no better than recognition of unaltered or reversed grayscale photos. This sex difference was evidently not due to differences in intentional memory strategies. These results suggest that in males, colors are bound to spatial location in picture memory. The female recognition of scenes, on the other hand, may rely on representations of objects that are more spatially independent.

Morikawa, K., Mel, B. W.(2003). Sex differences in binding color to spatial location in picture recognition memory [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 3( 9): 684, 684a, http://journalofvision.org/3/9/684/, doi:10.1167/3.9.684. [CrossRef]
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