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Mem Cognit. 2017 Jul;45(5):745-754. doi: 10.3758/s13421-017-0692-5.

The effects of context in item-based directed forgetting: Evidence for "one-shot" context storage.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3C5, Canada.
2
Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3C5, Canada. whockley@wlu.ca.
3
Memorial University, St. John's, NL, Canada.

Abstract

The effects of context on item-based directed forgetting were assessed. Study words were presented against different background pictures and were followed by a cue to remember (R) or forget (F) the target item. The effects of incidental and intentional encoding of context on recognition of the study words were examined in Experiments 1 and 2. Recognition memory for the picture contexts was assessed in Experiments 3a and 3b. Recognition was greater for R-cued compared to F-cued targets, demonstrating an effect of directed forgetting. In contrast, no directed forgetting effect was seen for the background pictures. An effect of context-dependent recognition was seen in Experiments 1 and 2, such that the hit rate and the false-alarm rate were greater for items tested in an old compared to a novel context. An effect of context-dependent discrimination was also observed in Experiment 2 as the hit rate was greater for targets shown in their same old study context compared to a different old context. The effects of context and directed forgetting did not interact. The results are consistent with Malmberg and Shiffrin's (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 31, 322-336, 2005) "one-shot" context storage hypothesis that assumes that a fixed amount of context is stored in the first 1 to 2 s of the presentation of the study item. The effects of context are independent of item-based directed forgetting because context is encoded prior to the R or F cue, and the differential processing of target information that gives rise to the directed forgetting effect occurs after the cue.

KEYWORDS:

Context dependent discrimination; Context dependent recognition; Directed forgetting effect; Picture recognition

PMID:
28168651
DOI:
10.3758/s13421-017-0692-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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