Repetition Blindness for Words yet Repetition Advantage for Nonwords

Veronika Coltheart*, Robyn Langdon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Accuracy of report of words in a rapidly presented sequence is reduced if 1 word is a repetition of a previous word. This is repetition blindness. If, however, the items are pronounceable nonwords, or pseudohomophones, repetition improves recall. A repetition advantage for nonwords also occurs when subjects merely count the items or when the item between the critical nonwords is a familiar word. Familiarizing subjects with the nonwords improved the level of recall but did not affect the repetition advantage. These results are considered in relation to token individuation and other accounts of repetition blindness. The findings suggest that for identical linguistic stimuli the types bound to episodic memory tokens that are vulnerable to repetition blindness are lexical units.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-185
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003


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