Send to

Choose Destination
Mem Cognit. 1990 Jan;18(1):23-30.

Recollective experience in word and nonword recognition.

Author information

City University, London, England.


The functional relationship between memory and consciousness was investigated in two experiments in which subjects indicated when recognizing an item whether they could consciously recollect its prior occurrence in the study list or recognized it on some other basis, in the absence of conscious recollection. Low-frequency words, relative to high-frequency words, enhanced recognition accompanied by conscious recollection but did not influence recognition in the absence of conscious recollection. By contrast, nonwords compared with words enhanced recognition in the absence of conscious recollection and reduced recognition accompanied by conscious recollection. A third experiment showed that confidence judgments in recognizing nonword targets corresponded with recognition performance, not with recollective experience. These measures of conscious awareness therefore tap qualitatively different components of memory, not some unitary dimension such as "trace strength." The findings are interpreted as providing further support for the distinction between episodic memory and other memory systems, and also as providing more qualified support for theories that assume that recognition memory entails two components, one of which may also give rise to priming effects in implicit memory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center