The role of attention during encoding in implicit and explicit memory.

  • Mulligan N
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In 5 experiments, participants read study words under conditions of divided or full attention. Dividing attention reduced performance on the general knowledge test, a conceptual implicit test of memory. Likewise, dividing attention reduced conceptual priming on the word--association task, as well as on a matched explicit test, associate-cued recall. In contrast, even very strong division of attention did not reduce perceptual priming on word-fragment completion, although it did reduce recall on the matched explicit test of word-fragment-cued recall. Finally, dividing attention reduced recall on the perceptual explicit tests of graphemic-cued recall and graphemic recognition. The results indicate that perceptual implicit tests rely minimally on attention-demanding encoding processes relative to other types of memory tests. The obtained pattern of dissociations is not readily accommodated by the transfer-appropriate-processing (TAP) account of implicit and explicit memory. Potential extensions of the TAP view are discussed.

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  • N W Mulligan

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