In any setting, under any circumstances, we process and store more information than we are aware of.

The terms remembering, recall and recognition should not be used interchangeably.

Inability to recall something does not mean that it was never stored in memory, or is truly forgotten and been erased from memory. I may not recall something unless stimulated to do so.

On the other hand, when stimulated by a picture, let's say, if I don't at all recognize something I have been exposed to, such as a face, that signals complete forgetting.

Think of situations where you have remembered a face (recognized it) but forgotten a name, until it was mentioned.

Recognizing images and sounds that you were previously exposed to, perhaps even years earlier, is not at all the same as recalling them.

Recalling means being able to put those previous exposures into words, so you can tell someone else, or yourself, whether much later, or even just a little after exposure.

So, after being exposed to the content of ads, such as the ones on this site, you store in your memory specific information even though you (on your own) probably can't consciously recall specific memories of ad messages--until you are stimulated by something outside yourself, such as seeing the product in a store.

The idea is to have the consumer already prepared (by the ad) so that seeing the product triggers the impulse to try/buy the product.

Early studies using devices like the tachistoscope show that the brain registers and stores visual material that has been flashed before the eyes for extremely brief periods of time--for fractions of a second.

Sometimes the exposures are so brief that the person has no conscious awareness that there has been an image. Yet, when tested later, they had absorbed the information, without even realizing it.

Some of the so-called right brain / left brain research showed that words and pictures went through each eye into different parts of the brain, where each type of data was stored and accessed differently, at different levels of consciousness.

NOTE: After you've explored this site further, if you want more explanation of the tachistoscope and related issues, go to the "web-links to more theory"section and click on the item that leads to Mike Buchenroth's Master's thesis.


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