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Explicit memory for rejected distractors during visual search

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Although memory for the identities of examined items is not used to guide visual search, identity memory may be acquired during visual search. In all experiments reported here, search was occasionally terminated and a memory test was presented for the identity of a previously examined item. Participants demonstrated memory for the locations of the examined items by avoiding revisits to these items and memory performance for the items' identities was above chance but lower than expected based on performance in intentional memory tests. Memory performance improved when the foil was not from the search set, suggesting that explicit identity memory is not bound to memory for location. Providing context information during test improved memory for the most recently examined item. Memory for the identities of previously examined items was best when the most recently examined item was tested, contextual information was provided, and location memory was not required.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Psychology Department, George Mason University, Virginia, Fairfax, USA 2: Beckman Institute and Department of Psychology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA

Publication date: 01 June 2006

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