September 2018
Volume 18, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2018
Comparing memory based on visual recall, visual recognition, and verbal recall
Author Affiliations
  • Elizabeth Hall
    Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health
  • Wilma Bainbridge
    Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health
  • Chris Baker
    Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health
Journal of Vision September 2018, Vol.18, 825. doi:10.1167/18.10.825
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      Elizabeth Hall, Wilma Bainbridge, Chris Baker; Comparing memory based on visual recall, visual recognition, and verbal recall. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):825. doi: 10.1167/18.10.825.

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

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Abstract

Recent work on visual recognition memory has characterized its high capacity and detail. However, visual recall has received less attention in spite of evidence for a neural dissociation from visual recognition, and is often assessed with verbal paradigms, which may miss key information about the visual content of memories. Here, we assess visual recall through a purely visual task (drawing) and compare it with visual recognition memory and verbal recall. Participants (N=30) studied 30 real-world scene images from distinct categories (10s each), and after a 11-minute distractor task, completed both a free recall drawing task and an old/new recognition task with same-category foil images. As previous work has identified memorability as a consistent predictive image property for recognition success (Bainbridge et al., 2013), stimuli were counterbalanced for memorability across participants (highly memorable versus highly forgettable). A separate group (N=15) completed a verbal version of the free recall experiment, studying category labels only. On average, participants recognized 27.2 images in the recognition task, remembered 16.7 items during verbal recall, and remembered 12.1 images (out of 30) during visual recall. However, they visually recalled a further 5.7 images when cued with a salient object. While both verbal and visual recall showed a primacy effect, this effect was stronger for verbal recall. There were no significant correlations at either the subject level or stimulus level for which items were visually recognized versus recalled. Importantly, while highly memorable images were better recognized, they were not more likely to be recalled than forgettable images, supporting a dissociation between recognition and recall memory. All together, these results provide evidence for visual recall as a distinct process separate from visual recognition and verbal recall.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018

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