Memory for recently accessed visual attributes

Yuhong V Jiang, Joshua M. Shupe, Khena M. Swallow, Deborah H. Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Recent reports have suggested that the attended features of an item may be rapidly forgotten once they are no longer relevant for an ongoing task (attribute amnesia). This finding relies on a surprise memory procedure that places high demands on declarative memory. We used intertrial priming to examine whether the representation of an item's identity is lost completely once it becomes task irrelevant. If so, then the identity of a target on one trial should not influence performance on the next trial. In 3 experiments, we replicated the finding that a target's identity is poorly recognized in a surprise memory test. However, we also observed location and identity repetition priming across consecutive trials. These data suggest that, although explicit recognition on a surprise memory test may be impaired, some information about a particular target's identity can be retained after it is no longer needed for a task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1331-1337
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Attention and memory
  • Implicit memory
  • Repetition priming


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