Facilitation and Interference in Identification of Pictures and Words
Final rept. 1 Dec 1991-31 May 1994
NEW YORK UNIV NY DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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This research is concerned with long-term facilitation and short-term interference and facilitation in identification of pictures and words. The long- term facilitation occurs when subjects are exposed to some representation of the item during a study episode, and then show improved identification of that item during a retention test. This type of facilitation is known as priming or long- term priming and the retention test is known as an implicit or indirect test because subjects are not instructed to think back to the prior study episode during the test. Much of our recent research has concerned the relationship between performance on the implicit test of picture fragment completion and the explicit test of recognition memory. Our major interest has been on the importance of maintaining the same surface features between study and test on performance in both implicit and explicit tests. Contrary to previous findings that explicit tests are impervious to surface changes and only sensitive to changes in meaning, we have found performance decrements from changes in surface features in explicit as well as implicit tests. These surface changes have been as subtle as differences in the level of fragmentation between study and test and as extreme as differences in the form of item picture vs. word between study and test. The research carried out under the grant has exploited this similarity between explicit and implicit tests within a components-of- information model of memory which accommodates both associations and dissociations between the two classes of tests.