Authors: Kiyofumi Miyoshi, Hiroshi Ashida

Title: Systematic spatial patterns of the sense of familiarity: Hierarchical modelling based on eye-tracking experiments

Journal(書誌情報): Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

doi: 10.1177/1747021818781709


Abstract: Using different types of stimuli, such as pictures, horizontally written Japanese words, and vertically written Japanese words, this study investigated the spatial patterns of the sense of familiarity within the visual field. The perceptual asymmetry theory predicted that stimuli in the lower visual field would be processed more fluently and would therefore be perceived as more familiar. The working memory theory, originally proposed in space–number research, envisaged type-specific spatial patterns for different stimuli. Participants made old/new recognition memory judgements for stimuli, presented at random positions, while their eye movements were recorded. The observed spatial patterns changed according to the stimulus type (e.g., “more left = older” for horizontally written words and “upper = older” for vertically written words), and this flexibility is encapsulated by the working memory theory as follows: (a) stimulus-type-specific spatial configurations are encoded in long-term memory on the basis of one’s experience (e.g., vertically written words are empirically associated with the “upper = older” spatial configuration), (b) the presentation of a stimulus automatically cues the temporal activation of the associated spatial configuration in working memory, and (c) the referential process between the stimulus and configuration unconsciously affects the viewer’s sense of familiarity.

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