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Semantic Congruency Improves Recognition Memory Performance for Both Audiovisual and Visual Stimuli

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Audiovisual semantic congruency during memory encoding has been shown to facilitate later recognition memory performance. However, it is still unclear whether this improvement is due to multisensory semantic congruency or just semantic congruency per se. We investigated whether dual visual encoding facilitates recognition memory in the same way as audiovisual encoding. The participants memorized auditory or visual stimuli paired with a semantically congruent, incongruent or non-semantic stimulus in the same modality or in the other modality during encoding. Subsequent recognition memory performance was better when the stimulus was initially paired with a semantically congruent stimulus than when it was paired with a non-semantic stimulus. This congruency effect was observed with both audiovisual and dual visual stimuli. The present results indicate that not only multisensory but also unisensory semantically congruent stimuli can improve memory performance. Thus, the semantic congruency effect is not solely a multisensory phenomenon, as has been suggested previously.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 9, FI 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:

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