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Memory & Cognition

Jesse Q Sargent, Jeffrey M Zacks, David Z Hambrick, Nan Lin
When a person explores a new environment, they begin to construct a spatial representation of it. Doing so is important for navigating and remaining oriented. How does one's ability to learn a new environment relate to one's ability to remember experiences in that environment? Here, 208 adults experienced a first-person videotaped route, and then completed a spatial map construction task. They also took tests of general cognitive abilities (working memory, laboratory episodic memory, processing speed, general knowledge) and of memory for familiar, everyday activities (event memory)...
September 18, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Justin Kantner, Lisa A Solinger, David Grybinas, Ian G Dobbins
Recognition memory tests typically consist of randomly intermixed studied and nonstudied items that subjects classify as old or new, often while indicating their confidence in these classifications. Under most decision theories, confidence ratings index an item's memory strength-the extent to which it elicits evidence of prior occurrence. Because the test probes are randomly ordered, these theories predict that confidence judgments should be sequentially independent: confidence on trial n should not predict confidence on n + 1...
September 18, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Nora Fieder, Isabell Wartenburger, Rasha Abdel Rahman
The present study investigated how lexical selection is influenced by the number of semantically related representations (semantic neighbourhood density) and their similarity (semantic distance) to the target in a speeded picture-naming task. Semantic neighbourhood density and similarity as continuous variables were used to assess lexical selection for which competitive and noncompetitive mechanisms have been proposed. Previous studies found mixed effects of semantic neighbourhood variables, leaving this issue unresolved...
September 6, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Maria Laura Bettinsoli, Anne Maass, Caterina Suitner
Serial positioning biases are well documented and generally take a U-shaped form, with better memory for first (primacy) and last items (recency). Here, we test the hypothesis that the relative strength of primacy and recency depends on script direction. When presented with large arrays of images, people are expected to first direct attention to the side where they usually start reading (in our case, left among Italian, and right among Arabic speakers) and to then scan the remaining images along the habitual text trajectory...
September 6, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Manila Vannucci, Claudia Pelagatti, Maciej Hanczakowski, Carlo Chiorri
Involuntary autobiographical memories (IAMs) are memories of past events that come to mind without deliberate retrieval attempts. Common in everyday life, IAMs have recently become a topic of experimental investigations with laboratory procedures. In the present study, we build on the recent methodological advancements in the study of IAMs, and we investigate the effects of manipulating the attentional load on the incidence of IAMs, as well as on the level of meta-awareness of these memories. In two experiments, attentional load was manipulated by varying the demands of the focal vigilance task, and reports of IAMs were collected...
September 6, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Hélène Verselder, Nicolas Morgado, Sébastien Freddi, Vincent Dru
Several recent studies have supported the existence of a link between spatial processing and some aspects of mathematical reasoning, including mental arithmetic. Some of these studies suggested that people are more accurate when performing arithmetic operations for which the operands appeared in the lower-left and upper-right spaces than in the upper-left and lower-right spaces. However, this cross-over Horizontality × Verticality interaction effect on arithmetic accuracy was only apparent for multiplication, not for addition...
September 4, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Tyler M Ensor, Aimée M Surprenant, Ian Neath
A well-established phenomenon in the memory literature is the picture superiority effect-the finding that, all else being equal, memory is better for pictures than for words (Paivio & Csapo, 1973). Theorists have attributed pictures' mnemonic advantage to dual coding (Paivio, 1971), conceptual distinctiveness (Hamilton & Geraci, 2006), and physical distinctiveness (Mintzer & Snodgrass, 1999). Here, we present a novel test of the physical-distinctiveness account of picture superiority: If the greater physical variability of pictures relative to words is responsible for their mnemonic benefit, then increasing the distinctiveness of words and/or reducing the physical variability of pictures should reduce or eliminate the picture superiority effect...
September 4, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Randolph S Taylor, Wendy S Francis, Lara Borunda-Vazquez, Jacqueline Carbajal
One explanation for why concrete words are recalled better than abstract words is systematic differences across these word types in the availability of context information. In contrast, explanations for the concrete-word advantage in recognition memory do not consider a possible role for context availability. We investigated the extent to which context availability can explain the effects of word concreteness in both free recall (Exp. 1) and item recognition (Exp. 2) by presenting each target word in isolation, in a low-constraint sentence context, or in a high-constraint sentence context at study...
September 4, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Henri Olkoniemi, Eerika Johander, Johanna K Kaakinen
Previous eye-tracking studies suggest that when resolving the meaning of sarcastic utterances in a text, readers often initiate fixations that return to the sarcastic utterance from subsequent parts of the text. We used a modified trailing mask paradigm to examine both the role of these look-back fixations in sarcasm comprehension and whether there are individual differences in how readers resolve sarcasm. Sixty-two adult participants read short paragraphs containing either a literal or a sarcastic utterance while their eye movements were recorded...
August 30, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Karlos Luna, Pedro B Albuquerque, Beatriz Martín-Luengo
Items presented in large font are rated with higher judgments of learning (JOLs) than those presented in small font. According to current explanations of this phenomenon in terms of processing fluency or implicit beliefs, this effect should be present no matter the type of material under study. However, we hypothesized that the linguistic cues present in sentences may prevent using font size as a cue for JOLs. Experiment 1, with short sentences, showed the standard font-size effect on JOLs, and Experiment 2, with pairs of longer sentences, showed a reduced effect...
August 30, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Xiaoping Fang, Charles A Perfetti
Learning a new, unrelated meaning for a known word faces competition from the word's original meaning. Moreover, the connection of the word with its original meaning also shows a subtle form of interference, a perturbation, when tested immediately after learning. However, the long-term effects of both types of interference are unclear. The present study paired both high and low frequency words with new unrelated meanings, testing the fate of new and original meanings on three different days over one week as a function of word familiarity...
August 30, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Bridgette Martin Hard, Meredith Meyer, Dare Baldwin
Once one sees a pattern, it is challenging to "unsee" it; discovering structure alters processing. Precisely what changes as this happens is unclear, however. We probed this question by tracking changes in attention as viewers discovered statistical patterns within unfolding event sequences. We measured viewers' "dwell times" (e.g., Hard, Recchia, & Tversky, 2011) as they advanced at their own pace through a series of still-frame images depicting a sequence of event segments ("actions") that were discoverable only via sensitivity to statistical regularities among the component motion elements...
August 30, 2018: Memory & Cognition
David C Rubin, Dorthe Berntsen, Samantha A Deffler, Kaitlyn Brodar
Individuals may take a self-narrative focus on the meaning of personal events in their life story, rather than viewing the events in isolation. Using the Centrality of Event Scale (CES; Berntsen & Rubin in Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 219-231, 2006) as our measure, we investigated self-narrative focus as an individual differences variable in addition to its established role as a measure of individual events. Three studies, with 169, 182, and 190 participants had 11, 10, and 11 different events varied across the dimensions of remembered past versus imagined future, distance from the present, and valence...
August 24, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Jianqin Wang, Henry Otgaar, Mark L Howe, Chu Zhou
It is well established that processing information in relation to oneself (i.e., self-referencing) leads to better memory for that information than processing that same information in relation to others (i.e., other-referencing). However, it is unknown whether self-referencing also leads to more false memories than other-referencing does. In the current two experiments with European and East Asian samples, we presented participants the Deese-Roediger-McDermott lists together with their own name or other people's name (i...
August 23, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Francis T Anderson, Mark A McDaniel
Relatively little research has focused on how prospective memory (PM) operates outside of the laboratory, partially due to the methodological problems presented by naturalistic memory research in general and by the unique challenges of PM in particular. Experience sampling methods (ESM) offer a fruitful avenue for this type of research, as recent work from Gardner and Ascoli (Psychology and Aging, 30, 209-219, 2015) has shown. They found that people thought about PM around 15% of the time, and that future thinking was more common than past thinking...
August 20, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Panayiota Kendeou, Reese Butterfuss, Jasmine Kim, Martin Van Boekel
In the present study, we employed the three-pronged approach to determine the actual cognitive processes theorized in knowledge revision. First, the Knowledge Revision Components (KReC) framework was identified as the guiding theory. Second, think-aloud analysis highlighted at which points in refutation texts readers detected discrepancies between their incorrect, commonsense beliefs and the correct beliefs, and the exact processes with which they dealt with these discrepancies-successfully or unsuccessfully, as indicated by posttest scores...
August 16, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Tomasz Smoleń, Jan Jastrzebski, Eduardo Estrada, Adam Chuderski
Cognitive training and brain stimulation studies have suggested that human cognition, primarily working memory and attention control processes, can be enhanced. Some authors claim that gains (i.e., post-test minus pretest scores) from such interventions are unevenly distributed among people. The magnification account (expressed by the evangelical "who has will more be given") predicts that the largest gains will be shown by the most cognitively efficient people, who will also be most effective in exploiting interventions...
August 16, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Hamid B Turker, Khena M Swallow
Memory for the items one has recently encountered is sometimes enhanced in divided attention tasks: Attending to behaviorally relevant items, such as a target in a detection task, boosts memory for unrelated background items (e.g., scenes or words). However, a central feature of episodic memory is memory for the spatiotemporal relationship between items and other elements of an event (relational memory), not just the item itself. Three experiments examined whether attending to a behaviorally relevant target-item boosts memory for the relationship between that item, its features, and a background scene...
August 10, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Patrick J Cushen, Jennifer Wiley
Given the widespread belief that analogical processing is an important mechanism for creative problem solving, despite the rarity of spontaneous transfer in laboratory studies, a critical direction for future research is to address which abilities may allow for the spontaneous analogizing between distant (superficially dissimilar) sources and targets. This study explores the role of individual differences in attentional control and the ability to make remote associations and their possible combined effects on spontaneous analogical transfer...
August 2, 2018: Memory & Cognition
Marie-Claude Guerrette, Jean Saint-Aubin, Mylène Richard, Katherine Guérard
When asked to recall verbatim a short list of items, performance is very limited. However, if the list of items is repeated across trials, recall performance improves. This phenomenon, known as the Hebb repetition effect (Hebb, 1961; Brain Mechanisms and Learning: A Symposium, pp. 37-51), is considered a laboratory analogue of language learning. In effect, learning a new word implies the maintenance of a series of smaller units, such as phonemes or syllables, in the correct order for a short amount of time before producing them...
August 1, 2018: Memory & Cognition
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