Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


The Role of Visual and Spatial Memory in Text Comprehension

Event Location / Date(s)

Montréal, Québec, Canada / 2019-11-14 - 2019-11-17

Document Type


Presentation Date


Conference Name / Publication Title

60th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society


Good reading comprehension requires creation of a situation model to track dimensions of a text including any characters, goals, and of interest in the current research, spatial and visual information described in the text. Tis experiment examined how individual diferences in visual and spatial working memory play a role in reading comprehension. First, participants completed a task assessing their visual and spatial working memory. Participants then read a series of passages that varied in the number of visual and spatial details of the environment in the text. Afer reading these passages, participants answered questions about the visual descriptions and drew a map of the environment to measure their comprehension of the spatial layout in the text. Although visual reading comprehension was not predicted by either visual or spatial working memory, both were able to predict spatial reading comprehension.