Memory & Cognition

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 60-68

First online:

False recognition of objects in visual scenes: Findings from a combined direct and indirect memory test

  • Yana WeinsteinAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Washington University Email author 
  • , Robert A. NashAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, University of Surrey


We report an extension of the procedure devised by Weinstein and Shanks (Memory & Cognition 36:1415–1428, 2008) to study false recognition and priming of pictures. Participants viewed scenes with multiple embedded objects (seen items), then studied the names of these objects and the names of other objects (read items). Finally, participants completed a combined direct (recognition) and indirect (identification) memory test that included seen items, read items, and new items. In the direct test, participants recognized pictures of seen and read items more often than new pictures. In the indirect test, participants’ speed at identifying those same pictures was improved for pictures that they had actually studied, and also for falsely recognized pictures whose names they had read. These data provide new evidence that a false-memory induction procedure can elicit memory-like representations that are difficult to distinguish from “true” memories of studied pictures.


False memory Implicit memory Object recognition Priming Source monitoring