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ERIC Number: EJ827084
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
A Visual Short-Term Memory Advantage for Objects of Expertise
Curby, Kim M.; Glazek, Kuba; Gauthier, Isabel
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v35 n1 p94-107 Feb 2009
Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is limited, especially for complex objects. Its capacity, however, is greater for faces than for other objects; this advantage may stem from the holistic nature of face processing. If the holistic processing explains this advantage, object expertise--which also relies on holistic processing--should endow experts with a VSTM advantage. The authors compared VSTM for cars among car experts and car novices. Car experts, but not car novices, demonstrated a VSTM advantage similar to that for faces; this advantage was orientation specific and was correlated with an individual's level of car expertise. Control experiments ruled out accounts based solely on verbal- or long-term memory representations. These findings suggest that the processing advantages afforded by visual expertise result in domain-specific increases in VSTM capacity, perhaps by allowing experts to maximize the use of an inherently limited VSTM system. (Contains 8 footnotes and 5 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee