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On the perceptual specificity of memory representations

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The present paradigm involved manipulating the congruency of the perceptual processing during the study and test phases of a recognition memory task. During each trial, a gaze-contingent window was used to limit the stimulus display to a region either inside or outside a 10° square centred on the participant's point of gaze, constituting the Central and Peripheral viewing modes respectively. The window position changed in real time in concert with changes in gaze position. Four experiments documented better task performance when viewing modes at encoding and retrieval matched than when they mismatched (i.e., perceptual specificity effects). Viewing mode congruency effects were demonstrated with both verbal and non-verbal stimuli. The present research is motivated and discussed in terms of theoretical views proposed in the 1970s including the levels-of-processing framework and the proceduralist viewpoint. In addition, implications for current processing and multiple systems views of memory are outlined.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Toronto, Canada

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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