Thorsten Albrecht and Dirk Vorberg (2010)

Long-lasting effects of briefly flashed words and pseudowords in ultrarapid serial visual presentation.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36(5):1339--1345.

Our ability to identify even complex scenes in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) is astounding, but memory for such items seems lacking. Rather than pictures, we used streams of more than 200 verbal stimuli, rushing by on the screen at a rate of more than 12 items per second while participants had to detect infrequent names (Experiments 1 and 2) or words written in capitals (Experiment 3). By direct and indirect tests, we investigated what is remembered of these masses of task-irrelevant distractor words and pseudowords embedded in an RSVP stream. Lexical decision, the indirect test applied either immediately after each stimulus train or with a delay, revealed strong long-term priming effects. Relative to stimuli not shown before, lexical decisions were faster and more accurate to words but slower to pseudowords. The size of these effects mirrored how often words and pseudowords had occurred in a stream, suggesting that memory traces are strengthened with successive presentations and survive for several minutes at least. Moreover, in a direct test (old–new categorization), words as well as pseudowords benefited from prior occurrence in an RSVP stream if they had occurred more than once. These findings parallel recent physiological and behavioral evidence for memory consolidation of distractor pictures in RSVP and highlight that, despite huge numbers of interfering stimuli, distractor words and pseudowords exhibit long-lasting memory effects. Consolidation seems to progress at higher cognitive levels at the same time that subsequent stimuli are perceptually processed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Accession Number: 2010-17631-015. PMID: 20804301 Other Journal Title: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Albrecht, Thorsten; Georg-Elias-Muller Institute of Psychology, Georg-August University Gottingen, Gottingen, Germany. Release Date: 20100830. Publication Type: Journal (0100), Peer Reviewed Journal (0110). Format Covered: Electronic. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Lexical Decision; Priming; Stimulus Presentation Methods; Word Recognition. Minor Descriptor: Attention; Cognitive Processes; Memory; Words (Phonetic Units). Classification: Cognitive Processes (2340). Population: Human (10); Male (30); Female (40). Location: Germany. Age Group: Adulthood (18 yrs & older) (300); Young Adulthood (18-29 yrs) (320); Thirties (30-39 yrs) (340); Middle Age (40-64 yrs) (360). Methodology: Empirical Study; Quantitative Study. References Available: Y. Page Count: 7. Issue Publication Date: Sep, 2010. Publication History: Accepted Date: Apr 15, 2010; Revised Date: Apr 13, 2010; First Submitted Date: Nov 18, 2009. Copyright Statement: American Psychological Association. 2010.