The effect of verbalisation on repetition priming for faces

Yaelan Jung, Sang Chul Chong

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1 Citation (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May 19

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Correspondence should be addressed to Sang Chul Chong, Department of Psychology, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu Seoul 120-749, Korea. E-mail: We would like to thank Sangmi Chung and Joohee Choi for their help in conducting the experiments. This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Programme through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology [grant number 2011-0025005].

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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