Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis




Experimental Psychology

First Advisor

John M Henderson


Previous studies have shown unintended or incidental memory for objects, but little is known about memory for non-specified details of scenes, such as a particular cloud formation, after search. To test the relationship of time spent viewing an area and encoding of the area's details, regions of interest were isolated from the scene, based on the eye movement data collected during search, for a surprise recognition task. Experiment 1 used a contextual cueing paradigm while monitoring eye movements in a repeated search task. Designated target regions and most-viewed regions showed significantly better memory for details than least-viewed regions. Experiment 2, then, examined incidental encoding of details from one instance of search and reiterated previous results that memory improved with longer viewing time. Non-fixated regions were still above chance-level performance. As a control, Experiment 3 assessed whether visual information from the tested regions from Experiment 2 affected incidental encoding. To maintain a constant viewing time, rapid serial visual presentation of the pictures was used. Despite differences in the amount of information across tested regions, memory was equivalent for all sections (most-viewed, least-viewed, and non-fixated). These results add to current understanding of scene processing that memory for details in scenes can occur unintentionally and encoding is better with longer viewing times yet still possible without fixation.