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The costs of target prioritization and the external requirements for using a recall-to-reject strategy in memory exclusion tasks: a meta-analysis

The costs of target prioritization and the external requirements for using a recall-to-reject strategy in memory exclusion tasks: a meta-analysis

Published in: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Volume 24, Issue 6, December 2017, 1844-1855

Abstract
“In event-related potential (ERP) studies, the left-parietal old/new effect is commonly considered as a neural correlate of recollection. In memory exclusion tasks, the effect is usually observed when the targeted information is identified, but it is not necessarily present when studied items are rejected as nontargets. Interestingly, both the presence and the absence of such old/new effects to nontargets have been regarded as indicator for strategic retrieval. We reviewed previous ERP studies using memory exclusion tasks to analyze the reaction time (RT) pattern in such studies, as well as the influence of task difficulty on the occurrence of nontarget retrieval. We identified 44 test conditions, reported in 24 studies, and subjected the behavioral data to a meta-analysis. The RTs to correctly rejected new items were shorter than the RTs to hits, in particular in studies that required differentiating conceptual or perceptual information at test. When the retrieval of target information was prioritized, RTs to nontargets were delayed relative to targets. Without such prioritization, no such RT differences were observed. For test conditions with nontarget retrieval, the retrieval accuracy was poorer compared with test conditions without such retrieval. The findings support previous studies that claimed that nontarget retrieval becomes more likely when target retrieval is difficult, but the strong overlap in task difficulty between conditions with and without nontarget retrieval indicates that other, partly yet to-be-identified factors contribute to the occurrence of nontarget retrieval as well.”

Written by: Timm Rosburg, Axel Mecklinger
For full text: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-017-1256-1

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