NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1006354
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
The Interplay of Episodic and Semantic Memory in Guiding Repeated Search in Scenes
Vo, Melissa L.-H.; Wolfe, Jeremy M.
Cognition, v126 n2 p198-212 Feb 2013
It seems intuitive to think that previous exposure or interaction with an environment should make it easier to search through it and, no doubt, this is true in many real-world situations. However, in a recent study, we demonstrated that previous exposure to a scene does not necessarily speed search within that scene. For instance, when observers performed as many as 15 searches for different objects in the same, unchanging scene, the speed of search did not decrease much over the course of these multiple searches (Vo & Wolfe, 2012). Only when observers were asked to search for the same object again did search become considerably faster. We argued that our naturalistic scenes provided such strong "semantic" guidance--e.g., knowing that a faucet is usually located near a sink--that guidance by incidental episodic memory--having seen "that" faucet previously--was rendered less useful. Here, we directly manipulated the availability of semantic information provided by a scene. By monitoring observers' eye movements, we found a tight coupling of semantic and episodic memory guidance: Decreasing the availability of semantic information increases the use of episodic memory to guide search. These findings have broad implications regarding the use of memory during search in general and particularly during search in naturalistic scenes. (Contains 1 table and 12 figures.)
Elsevier. 3251 Riverport Lane, Maryland Heights, MO 63043. Tel: 800-325-4177; Tel: 314-447-8000; Fax: 314-447-8033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A