Visual and semantic organization in picture recall

Elizabeth Lotz Stine, Angeline E. Benham, Anderson D. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Frost (1971, 1972) demonstrated that subjects can organize pictures by using either visual features or semantic features of the items presented. For the present study, a set of pictures was constructed that could be organized visually and semantically. The subjects viewed these pictures at either a fast rate (1.5 sec/item) or a slow rate (5 sec/item) of presentation. The subjects expected a recognition task, which would enhance attention to visual detail. Clustering by visual (spatial orientation) and semantic (taxonomic category) categories on an unexpected recall task was measured. At the fast presentation rate, semantic and visual clustering occurred at equal levels, but when presentation rate was decreased (longer presentation times), visual clustering decreased and semantic clustering increased. These results are discussed in terms of the changing representation of picture information as a function of study time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-91
Number of pages3
JournalBulletin of the Psychonomic Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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