Probing Iconic Memory

Dr. Ernest Greene


There is evidence that very detailed visual information persists for a period of around 100 ms before it fades, which has been described as "iconic memory." The majority of iconic memory work has focused on processing of verbal information, and there is no good evidence that iconic memory contributes to the recognition of objects. The present research confirms that iconic memory contributes to object recognition over intervals that range upwards of 300 ms, depending on the level of ambient illumination. On a different issue, two experiments are presented which question the importance of contour attributes (such as orientation and curvature) for recognition of objects.

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