Verbal mediation and memory for novel figural designs: A dual interference study.

Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Buchanan, L.


Psychology, Experimental.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Verbal mediation is intrinsic in so-called "visual" memory processing, since all types of visual stimuli can be verbalized to some degree. This impurity complicates the interpretation of visual memory performance, particularly in certain neurologically impaired populations (e.g., aphasia). The purpose of this study was to investigate the relative contributions of verbal mediation to recognition memory for visual stimuli that vary with respect to the degree to which they can be verbalized. In Experiment 1, subjects attempted to verbally describe novel figural designs during presentation and then identify them in a subsequent recognition memory test. Verbalizing these designs facilitated memory. Stimuli that were found to be easiest or most difficult to verbalize at the group level were retained for the second study. In Experiment 2, control subjects evidenced superior recognition memory for the relatively easier to verbalize items. This advantage was attenuated in subjects who performed a concurrent verbal interference task during encoding, but not in those who performed an analogous visual interference task. These findings provide evidence that impoverished verbal mediation is sufficient to impair visual memory performance, and that this effect is more pronounced for material that is relatively easy to verbalize. Implications for the clinical assessment of visual memory are discussed.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2004 .S55. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 43-01, page: 0330. Adviser: Lori Buchanan. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2004.