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Object naming induces reliance on orientation-independent representations during longer-term, but not short-term, visual remembering.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2011
JournalMemory
Journal number8
Volume19
Number of pages15
Pages809-824
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Naming novel objects with novel count nouns changes how the objects are drawn from memory, revealing that object categorisation induces reliance on orientation-independent visual representations during longer-term remembering, but not during short-term remembering. Serial position effects integrate this finding with a more established conceptualisation of short-term and longer-term visual remembering in which the former is identified as keeping an item in mind. Adults were shown a series of four novel objects in orientations in which they would not normally be drawn from memory. When not named (“Look at this object”), the objects were drawn in the orientations in which they had been seen. When named with a novel count noun (e.g., “Look at this dax”), the final object continued to be depicted in the orientation in which it had been seen, but all other objects were depicted in an unseen but preferred (canonical) orientation, even though participants could still remember the orientations in which they had been seen. Although orientation-dependent exemplar representations appear to be more accessible than orientation-independent generic representations during short-term remembering, the reverse is the case during longer-term remembering. How the theoretical framework emerging from these observations accommodates a broader body of evidence is discussed.