Verbally describing a previously seen face can impair subsequent recognition of the described face. Although this phenomenon, known as the verbal overshadowing effect, has been found in the context of recognition memory, Lloyd-Jones, Brown, and Clarke found that it does not reduce the amount of priming (one type of implicit memory) but influences the reaction times (RTs) for a perceptual task. Here, we re-examined the effect of verbalisation on implicit memory by manipulating the processing mode for both description and perceptual tasks. With this experimental design, we found that verbalisation influenced implicit memory consistent with the explanation of the processing shift account. Verbalisation can leave the priming effect intact but lengthens the RTs when the processing mode involved in verbalisation is inappropriate for the perceptual task. Also, we found that the face inversion effect was modulated by the processing mode involved in verbalisation. We suggest, therefore, that implicit memory is not different from explicit memory in the way that it is affected by verbalisation. We propose that the mode of processing is critical for both types of visual memory.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology