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Intersections in Basic and Applied Memory Research by Frederick G. Conrad, David G. Payne

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13

Memory for Pictures, Maps, Environments, and Graphs

Barbara Tversky

Stanford University

Historically, there have been two kinds of theories used to explain memory for the visuospatial world: theories imported from those about language or theories relying on the picture metaphor. This chapter develops an alternative theory that derives from perceptual processing and accounts for systematic errors in memory for maps, environments, and graphs.

An early process in perception is distinguishing figures from ground. Contour is a critical cue to “figuralness,” as well as to memory for objects. Parts and internal features are also operative. Once isolated, figures are related to other figures at the same level of analysis and to a frame of reference ...

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