Published On: 21/01/2001|Categories: 1998–2002, Vol.22 (1), Vol.22 (2001)|


It has been shown that regularity of a figure aids both its perception and its retention. The present paper examines how the regularity of a pattern may influence memory of figures contrasted with generated images and how specific configurations can affect memory. It is assumed that a visual trace and a generated image imply partially different psychological mechanisms and that memory of a generated image is affected by the way it was constructed. In four experiments different groups of subjects were invited to draw simple figures on the basis of the memory either of its pictorial presentation (VT = visual trace) or of the corresponding image generated following verbal instructions (GI = generated image). Experiment 1 showed that a VT condition generally produces poorer memory than a GI condition, but this difference only occurs with some figures. Experiment 2 showed that difficulties and peculiarities in the GI condition are due to the extent to which a subject can find partial elements of regularities during the construction of a figure. This result was not present in a CVT (constructed visual trace) condition progressively showing the segments of a figure (Exp. 3) and was present, but to a lesser extent than in the GI condition, when single segments were presented to the subject, who was required to imagine the overall resulting pattern (Exp. 4). Key words: Perception, representation, visual memory.

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