Verbal overshadowing reflects the impairment in memory performance following verbalisation of nonverbal stimuli. A recent debate has concerned the mechanisms that govern the verbal overshadowing phenomenon in different domains. In the present paper, we explore the dynamics of verbal overshadowing in the imagery domain, by manipulating the presence of visual and verbal cues at retrieval. In particular, the role of self-generated names as retrieval cues was investigated to contrast the Transfer-Inappropriate Processing (TIP) and the Recoding Interference (RI) accounts of verbal overshadowing. Results from three experiments revealed that verbal overshadowing in visual imagery can be attenuated by any cues (visual or verbal) that trigger the activation of featural representations necessary to complete an image transformation task. Counterintuitively, like visual cues, selfgenerated common nouns, but not proper nouns or nonwords, significantly improved visual imagery performance, hence supporting a recoding interference account of VO.
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