Incidental memory for colour word associates processed in colour naming and reading aloud tasks: is a blue ocean more memorable than a yellow one?

Michael J. Cortese, Maya M. Khanna, David Von Nordheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Congruency effects for colour word associates (e.g., ocean) have been reported in Stroop colour naming tasks. However, incidental memory for such words after word reading and colour naming tasks has not been examined. In the current study, participants incidentally recalled colour word associates (e.g., ocean) and neutral words (e.g., lawyer) immediately after naming their font colour (Experiment 1a) or reading them aloud (Experiment 1b). In both tasks, recall was better for congruent colour word associates (e.g., ocean appearing in blue) than incongruent colour word associates (e.g., ocean appearing in green) or neutral items (lawyer appearing in blue). This outcome is consistent with the idea that co-activation of a semantic colour code and a lexical representation strengthens the episodic memory representation and makes it more accessible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)924-930
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 9 2019
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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