Implicit Memory for Possible and Impossible Objects: Constraints on the Construction of Structural Descriptions

Daniel L. Schacter, Lynn A. Cooper, Suzanne M. Delaney, Mary A. Peterson, Mindy Tharan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

120 Scopus citations

Abstract

Four experiments examined implicit memory or priming effects on an object decision task in which subjects decided whether structurally possible or impossible novel objects could exist in three-dimensional form. Results revealed equivalent levels of priming for possible objects after 1 vs. 4 5-s exposures to the same structural encoding task (Experiment 1) and when objects were studied with a single structural encoding task or 2 different structural encoding tasks (Experiment 3). Explicit memory, by contrast, was greatly affected by both manipulations. However, priming of possible objects was not observed when Ss were given only a single 1-s exposure to perform a structural encoding task (Experiment 2). No evidence for priming of impossible objects was observed in any of the 4 experiments. The data suggest that object decision priming depends on a presemantic structural description system that is distinct from episodic memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

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