Repetition blindness and aging: Evidence for a binding deficit involving a single, theoretically specified connection

D. G. MacKay, Michelle Miller, S. P. Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


This study tested 2 main hypotheses for explaining repetition blindness (RB), a difficulty in encoding and recalling rapidly presented repeated words in sentences. Under 1 hypothesis, RB reflects an inhibitory process and should be more pronounced in young than in older Ss, who typically exhibit diminished inhibitory processes. Under the second hypothesis, RB reflects a failure to bind a specific connection: the second connection from the single node for encoding a repeated word is difficult to form under time pressure. Under this binding hypothesis, young adults should exhibit less RB than older adults, who typically require more time to form new connections. Results supported a version of the binding hypothesis but contradicted the inhibition hypothesis, and did not support hypotheses whereby RB reflects either a refractory effect or perceptual fusion of the repeated words.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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