Olfactory memories

Evidence for dual-coding theory

Evidence for dual-coding theory has been provided in a number of distinct task areas: for instance, in memory tasks, in neuropsychological studies, and in problem solving. These studies tend to show that either the two symbolic systems operate in an independent fashion or that they produce joint effects, depending on specific circumstances. For example, an experiment might show that memory for words is quite distinct from memory for pictures, or that memory is enhanced when something is encoded in both pictures and words. Consider three classic cases from memory experiments designed to test the theory: the differences between recalling pictures and words, the effects of word imaging and concreteness, and repetition effects.

Effects of dual codes on free recall

A schematic outline of the major components of dual-coding theory. The two main symbolic systems—the verbal and non-verbal systems—are connected to distinct input and output systems. Within the two systems are associative structures (involving logogens and imagens) that are linked to one another by referential connections. Reproduced with permission from Mental representations: A dual coding approach, by Allan Paivio, 1986, Oxford University Press.

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