Chapter

Conceptual Implicit Memory and the Item-Specific–Relational Distinction

Neil W. Mulligan

in Distinctiveness and Memory

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195169669
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847563 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169669.003.0009
Conceptual Implicit Memory and the Item-Specific–Relational Distinction

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Research on distinctiveness and memory has largely focused on explicit, or recollective, aspects of memory. However, memory also affects behavior in ways unaccompanied by conscious recollection. This chapter discusses research on distinctiveness and implicit memory within the framework of item-specific processing and relational processing. It begins with a brief overview of implicit and explicit memory, describes the utility of the item-specific-relational framework, and reviews recent empirical results supporting this analysis. Traditional memory tests, such as recognition and free or cued recall, require the participant to think about some prior event and report on it. Such tests are referred to as explicit memory tests and may be contrasted with tests of unintentional or incidental retrieval, known as implicit memory tests. Memory for prior events is inferred from the increased ease in identifying, completing, generating, or otherwise processing previously experienced information. This enhanced performance is known as priming. Experimental manipulations produce dissociations between priming and performance on explicit tests. These are referred to as functional dissociations, and a large number have been documented.

Keywords: distinctiveness; implicit memory; explicit memory; relational processing; item-specific processing; priming; memory tests; functional dissociations

Chapter.  10607 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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