Memory source confusions: The effects of character rotational sensory modality

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1996


University of Illinois Press


Eighty subjects viewed and visually imagined upright or rotated alphanumeric characters and later judged whether test characters were previously seen or imagined (reality monitoring). Identification and test characters were presented verbally or visually. When characters were identified and tested verbally, source confusions (misjudging a seen character as "imagined" and vice-versa) were infrequent and were comparable for rotated and upright characters. When characters were identified and tested visually, source confusions were more frequent and were influenced by character rotation. Memories for imagined characters were especially susceptible to source confusion. Also source confusions for seen characters increased when characters were rotated. These results are consistent with the proposal that increasing sensory similarity between perceived and imagined items increases source confusion and that perceived rotation generates cognitive operations similar to those generated when the subject imagines a character rotated.