Interference in Visual Memory for Abstract Stimuli and Everyday Objects

Rhonda Shaw, Jody Turner

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Shah, Miyake, Friedman, Rettinger and Hegarty (2001) suggest that the visuospatial sketchpad is closely linked to the central executive. However, most research in this area has used abstract stimuli to test visual memory. The current study compared memory for abstract stimuli to memory for pictures of everyday objects to examine whether both types of memory were impaired under dual task conditions. Thirty-seven first year psychology undergraduates aged between 18 to 48 years completed visual memory tasks for abstract polygons and everyday objects under three conditions, no secondary task, articulatory suppression and spatial tapping conditions. The results of the study showed that memory for everyday objects was higher than memory for abstract shapes. The results also revealed that memory for both types of stimuli were impaired in the articulatory suppression condition. Memory for abstract shapes was impaired by the inclusion of the spatial tapping task but memory for everyday objects was not. These results suggest that participants use verbal labels to remember visual memory stimuli, regardless of whether the stimuli are conducive to such labelling. The results also suggest that memory for abstract stimuli likely requires central executive resources to a greater extent than memory for pictures of everyday objects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication43rd APS annual conference
Subtitle of host publicationPsychology leading change
EditorsN. Vourdouris, V. Mrowinski
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherAPS Press
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780909881368
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAustralian Psychological Society (APS) Annual Conference - Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Duration: 22 Sept 200926 Sept 2009


ConferenceAustralian Psychological Society (APS) Annual Conference


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