September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Visual long term memory is spatially specific, but only after a brief consolidation period
Author Affiliations
  • Yoolim Hong
    Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University
  • Andrew Leber
    Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 92. doi:
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      Yoolim Hong, Andrew Leber; Visual long term memory is spatially specific, but only after a brief consolidation period. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):92.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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For successful commerce with the world, it is essential that we remember objects that we encounter within the proper contexts. Consistent with this, visual long-term memory is known to be context dependent. However, the way in which these context dependent memories manifest has been relatively unexplored. Here, we measured the degree to which visual object memory is tied to spatial location. We manipulated the retention interval to explore how spatially specific memories emerged over time. During an initial encoding phase, we presented two placeholders on the screen (one on the left, one on the right), and we presented a series of 200 face stimuli. To associate each face stimulus with specific spatial context, half of them appeared inside the left placeholder and the other half appeared inside the right placeholder. Participants were instructed to discriminate each face’s gender, regardless of its location. Subsequently, participants began the recognition phase. Critically, for one group of participants (No Retention Group), the recognition phase began immediately after encoding was finished, while for the other group (Retention Group), the recognition phase began after a 15 min retention interval in which a visual search task was performed. During the recognition phase, we presented one previously viewed (old) face and one novel face on each of 200 trials. Participants had to discriminate the side of the display containing the old face. To manipulate context dependency, we presented half of the faces inside the same placeholder as during encoding (“matching” condition) and the remaining faces inside the other placeholder (“nonmatching” condition). Results showed that the Retention group’s recognition memory was significantly better in the matching condition than the nonmatching condition, while the No-Retention group’s performance was equivalent in the two conditions. These results implicate a key role of consolidation in the genesis of context-specific visual memory.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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