Semantic blindness: Repeated Concepts Are Difficult to Encode and Recall Under Time Pressure

Donald G. Mackay, Michelle Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


This study demonstrates a recently predicted cognitive phenomenon known as semantic blindness, an inhibitory effect attributable to concept repetition in the serial recall of rapidly presented sentences Proficient bilinguals read mixed, Spanish-English sentences, each including a target and a pretarget word Targets and pretargets were related in three ways They were identical (e g, like-like), semantically identical across languages (e g, gusta-like), and nonidentical within or across languages (e g, read-like) Equivalent repetition blindness was found for targets with identical and semantically identical pretargets, indicating that repetition deficits were occurring solely at the semantic level, rather than at orthographic or phonological levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-55
Number of pages4
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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