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Memory. 2008 Oct;16(7):689-702. doi: 10.1080/09658210802169095.

Recognition hypermnesia: how to get it.

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  • 1Brooklyn College, Graduate School, CUNY, NY 11210, USA.


Although recall hypermnesia (enhanced recall) over time with repeated testing has by now become an established empirical fact, its recognition counterpart, recognition hypermnesia, has defied clear-cut laboratory confirmation. In four studies, which relied on the retrieval component of recognition memory, it was shown that recognition memory, indexed by d', reliably improved over three successive recognition tests. The stimuli consisted of 140 cartoons, each comprising a picture and a verbal caption. Recognition memory was tested on transforms or part-forms (parts) of the original stimulus material (pictures only, verbal paraphrases of the pictures, the latent content of the cartoons, or the combination of paraphrases and latent contents). The strongest effects were obtained when the originally presented cartoons were tested on their latent (deep semantic) contents. Recognition hypermnesia for part-forms or transforms of earlier presented stimuli has potentially wide-ranging implications since real-world recognition--of faces, texts, visual scenes--usually involves recognising stimuli that are variants, not exact copies, of the originally encountered materials.

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