Memory after visual search: Overlapping phonology, shared meaning, and bilingual experience influence what we remember

Viorica Marian, Sayuri Hayakawa*, Scott R. Schroeder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

How we remember the things that we see can be shaped by our prior experiences. Here, we examine how linguistic and sensory experiences interact to influence visual memory. Objects in a visual search that shared phonology (cat-cast) or semantics (dog-fox) with a target were later remembered better than unrelated items. Phonological overlap had a greater influence on memory when targets were cued by spoken words, while semantic overlap had a greater effect when targets were cued by characteristic sounds. The influence of overlap on memory varied as a function of individual differences in language experience – greater bilingual experience was associated with decreased impact of overlap on memory. We conclude that phonological and semantic features of objects influence memory differently depending on individual differences in language experience, guiding not only what we initially look at, but also what we later remember.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105012
JournalBrain and Language
Volume222
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Bilingualism
  • Individual differences
  • Language experience
  • Object memory
  • Phonological overlap
  • Semantic overlap
  • Visual memory
  • Visual search
  • Visual world paradigm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing

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