Effect of memory on distinctive features and schema learning

Mitchell J. Durant, Steven R. Yussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Past research has distinguished between 2 alternative representational systems that are used in perceptual learning--distinctive features and schemas. In the present study, data from 96 kindergartners were used to study the influence of short-term memory on the initial utility of these systems and the influence of long-term memory on retention of these forms of learning. All Ss received a pretraining, training, immediate-transfer, and delayed-transfer phase with a series of visual discrimination problems under a variety of training conditions. Results show that neither short- nor long-term memory influenced the pattern of learning. Distinctive-features training facilitated learning relative to a control group whether the discrimination problem required short-term memory (successive) or did not (simultaneous), and whether the facilitation was examined for the immediate- or delayed-transfer test. Schema learning never facilitated transfer performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-321
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1976


  • long &
  • retention of distinctive features &
  • schemas in perceptual learning, kindergartners
  • short term memory, initial utility &


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