ERIC Number: ED334975
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: 0
Visual Complexity and Pictorial Memory: A Fifteen Year Research Perspective.
Berry, Louis H.
For 15 years an ongoing research project at the University of Pittsburgh has focused on the effects of variations in visual complexity and color on the storage and retrieval of visual information by learners. Research has shown that visual materials facilitate instruction, but has not fully delineated the interactions of visual complexity and color with cognitive processes. These studies used various combinations of slides in realistic color, black and white, line drawings, and nonrealistic color to test research hypotheses about visual complexity, color, cognitive styles, and cerebral asymmetry, as well as certain design factors and retention under either pictorial recognition or free recall situations. Groups of studies addressed the role of color realism as it relates to: (1) a pictorial recognition task; (2) the cognitive style factors of field dependence, impulsivity/reflectivity, and leveling sharpening; (3) hemispheric laterality; and (4) a visual recall task. Four general conclusions can be drawn from the findings of these studies: (1) all forms of color facilitate the recognition of visual material equally well, and are superior to monochrome materials as cueing devices; (2) in recall memory tasks, realistic color cueing is the most effective, followed by black and white and line drawing formats, with nonrealistic color cueing the least effective; (3) the processing of nonrealistic color information is lateralized to the right hemisphere while color and back and white processing are left hemisphere oriented; and (4) some evidence exists to suggest that field dependence may play a role in color information processing. (30 references) (BBM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Visual Complexity
Note: In: Proceedings of Selected Research Presentations at the Annual Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology; see IR 015 132. For a related paper, see IR 015 137.