Spatial language influences memory for spatial scenes

Michele I. Feist*, Dedre Gentner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Does language influence recognition for spatial scenes? In Experiments 1 and 2, participants viewed ambiguous pictures, with or without spatial sentences. In a yes-no recognition task, only the spatial sentences group made more false alarms toward the center of the spatial category than in the other direction; three other comparison groups showed no such tendency. This shift toward the core of the semantic category suggests that spatial language interacted with perceptual information during encoding. In Experiment 3, we varied the materials to test the interactive encoding account against a separate encoding account in which separately stored sentences are accessed during picture recognition. The results support the interactive encoding account in which spatial language influences the encoding and memory of spatial relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-296
Number of pages14
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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