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Category: Memory & Cognition

On the predictability of event boundaries in discourse: An ERP investigation

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 315-325 Abstract “When reading a text describing an everyday activity, comprehenders build a model of the situation described that includes prior knowledge of the entities, locations, and sequences of actions that typically occur within the event. Previous work has demonstrated that such knowledge guides the processing of incoming information by making event boundaries more or less expected. In the present ERP study, we investigated whether comprehenders’ expectations about event boundaries are influenced by how elaborately common events are described in the context. Participants read short stories in which a common activity (e.g.,… Read More

How do we get there? Effects of cognitive aging on route memory

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 274-284 Abstract “Research into the effects of cognitive aging on route navigation usually focuses on differences in learning performance. In contrast, we investigated age-related differences in route knowledge after successful route learning. One young and two groups of older adults categorized using different cut-off scores on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), were trained until they could correctly recall short routes. During the test phase, they were asked to recall the sequence in which landmarks were encountered (Landmark Sequence Task), the sequence of turns (Direction Sequence Task), the direction of turn at each… Read More

Use of the familiarity difference cue in inferential judgments

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 298-314 Abstract “The familiarity difference cue has been regarded as a general cue for making inferential judgments (Honda, Abe, Matsuks, & Yamagishi in Memory and Cognition, 39(5), 851–863, 2011; Schwikert & Curran in Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(6), 2341–2365, 2014). The current study tests a model of inference based on familiarity differences that encompasses the recognition heuristic (Goldstein & Gigerenzer, 1999, Goldstein & Gigerenzer in Psychological Review, 109(1), 75–90, 2002). In two studies, using a large pool of stimuli, participants rated their familiarity of cities and made choices on a typical city-size task. The data were fitted with the r-s model… Read More

How sublexical association strength modulates updating: Cognitive and strategic effects

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 285-297 Abstract “In the current study, we investigated updating of long-term memory (LTM) associations. Specifically, we examined sublexical associations by manipulating preexisting LTM relations between consonant couplets (in encoding and updating phases), and explicitly instructed participants to engage with a specific strategy for approaching the task (item disjunction, grouping, or none). In two experiments, we used a multistep subject-based memory updating task in which we measured processing response times (RTs; Exp. 1, Exp. 2) and recognition RTs (Exp. 2). For the first time, in both experiments, we found costs in dismantling strong pre-existing associations from… Read More

One-back reinforcement dissociates implicit-procedural and explicit-declarative category learning

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 261-273 Abstract “The debate over unitary/multiple category-learning utilities is reminiscent of debates about multiple memory systems and unitary/dual codes in knowledge representation. In categorization, researchers continue to seek paradigms to dissociate explicit learning processes (yielding verbalizable rules) from implicit learning processes (yielding stimulus–response associations that remain outside awareness). We introduce a new dissociation here. Participants learned matched category tasks with a multidimensional, information-integration solution or a one-dimensional, rule-based solution. They received reinforcement immediately (0-Back reinforcement) or after one intervening trial (1-Back reinforcement). Lagged reinforcement eliminated implicit, information-integration category learning but preserved explicit,… Read More

Does neighborhood size really cause the word length effect?

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 244-260 Abstract “In short-term serial recall, it is well-known that short words are remembered better than long words. This word length effect has been the cornerstone of the working memory model and a benchmark effect that all models of immediate memory should account for. Currently, there is no consensus as to what determines the word length effect. Jalbert and colleagues (Jalbert, Neath, Bireta, & Surprenant, 2011a; Jalbert, Neath, & Surprenant, 2011b) suggested that neighborhood size is one causal factor. In six experiments we systematically examined their suggestion. In Experiment 1, with an immediate serial recall… Read More

Covert shifts of attention can account for the functional role of “eye movements to nothing”

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 230-243 Abstract “When trying to remember verbal information from memory, people look at spatial locations that have been associated with visual stimuli during encoding, even when the visual stimuli are no longer present. It has been shown that such “eye movements to nothing” can influence retrieval performance for verbal information, but the mechanism underlying this functional relationship is unclear. More precisely, covert in comparison to overt shifts of attention could be sufficient to elicit the observed differences in retrieval performance. To test if covert shifts of attention explain the functional role of… Read More

Long-term associative learning predicts verbal short-term memory performance

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 216-229 Abstract “Studies using tests such as digit span and nonword repetition have implicated short-term memory across a range of developmental domains. Such tests ostensibly assess specialized processes for the short-term manipulation and maintenance of information that are often argued to enable long-term learning. However, there is considerable evidence for an influence of long-term linguistic learning on performance in short-term memory tasks that brings into question the role of a specialized short-term memory system separate from long-term knowledge. Using natural language corpora, we show experimentally and computationally that performance on three widely… Read More

Item strength affects working memory capacity

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 204-215 Abstract “Do the processing and online manipulation of stimuli that are less familiar require more working memory (WM) resources? Is it more difficult to solve demanding problems when the symbols involved are less rather than more familiar? We explored these questions with a dual-task paradigm in which subjects had to solve algebra problems of different complexities while simultaneously holding novel symbol–digit associations in WM. The symbols were previously unknown Chinese characters, whose familiarity was manipulated by differential training frequency with a visual search task for nine hour-long sessions over 3 weeks.… Read More

The cost of switching between taxonomic and thematic semantics

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 191-203 Abstract “Current models and theories of semantic knowledge primarily capture taxonomic relationships (DOG and WOLF) and largely do not address the role of thematic relationships in semantic knowledge (DOG and LEASH). Recent evidence suggests that processing or representation of thematic relationships may be distinct from taxonomic relationships. If taxonomic and thematic relations are distinct, then there should be a cost associated with switching between them even when the task remains constant. This hypothesis was tested using two different semantic-relatedness judgment tasks: Experiment 1 used a triads task and Experiment 2 used an oddball task. In both… Read More