The Role of Physical and Conceptual Properties in Preserving Object Continuity

Robert D. Gordon, David E. Irwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Six experiments investigated the nature of the object-file representation supporting object continuity. Participants viewed preview displays consisting of 2 stimuli (either line drawings or words) presented within square frames, followed by a target display consisting of a single stimulus (either a word or a picture) presented within 1 of the frames. The relationship between the target and preview stimuli was manipulated. The first 2 experiments found that participants responded more quickly when the target was identical to the preview stimulus in the same frame (object-specific priming). In Experiments 3, 4, 5, and 6, the physical form of the target stimulus (a word or picture in 1 frame) was changed completely from that of either preview stimulus (pictures or words in both frames). Despite this physical change, object-specific priming was observed. It is suggested that object files encode postcategorical information, rather than precise physical information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-150
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

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