REMEMBERING READING OPERATIONS WITH AND WITHOUT AWARENESS
Michael E. J. Masson University of Victoria
The perceptual and cognitive operations performed during fluent reading cannot conceivably be under direct executive control throughout the entire course of their functioning. A much more reasonable assumption is that a number of' these operations carry on outside the bounds of awareness and produce results or outputs that eventually are used by centrally controlled processes. In this article I consider the implications of this assumption for (a) the memory representation of specific reading episodes, and (h) the role played by such memory representations when material is read on multiple occasions, Special consideration will he given to a form of memory for reading episodes that appears to operate outside the domain of executive control processes.
In the first part of the article, some empirical demonstrations of automatic visual processing and associated consequences for memory representations are reviewed. I argue that although memory for automatically processed visual events appears to be poor, methods of testing memory that do not require introspection concerning specific prior episodes may produce a very different set of conclusions. Examples of such demonstrations are considered, including compelling neuropsychological evidence. Next I develop a characterization of automated and attentiondemanding aspects of reading that is based on the concept of interacting memory systems. In support of this framework, recent experiments involving memory for reading operations are reviewed and their implications for the possible role of executive control processes in reading are discussed.