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Reduced effects of pictorial distinctiveness on false memory following dynamic visual noise

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High levels of false recognition for non-presented items typically occur following exposure to lists of associated words. These false recognition effects can be reduced by making the studied items more distinctive by the presentation of pictures during encoding. One explanation of this is that during recognition, participants expect or attempt to retrieve distinctive pictorial information in order to evaluate the study status of the test item. If this involves the retrieval and use of visual imagery, then interfering with imagery processing should reduce the effectiveness of pictorial information in false memory reduction. In the current experiment, visual-imagery processing was disrupted at retrieval by the use of dynamic visual noise (DVN). It was found that effects of DVN dissociated true from false memory. Memory for studied words was not influenced by the presence of an interfering noise field. However, false memory was increased and the effects of picture-induced distinctiveness was eliminated. DVN also increased false recollection and remember responses to unstudied items.
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Keywords: False memory; distinctiveness; dynamic visual noise; episodic memory; visual imagery

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK

Publication date: July 3, 2017

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