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Title: Beyond dissociation : exploring interactions between implicit priming and explicit recognition
Author: Park, Joanne L.
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2013
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Over the last 30 or more years evidence has accumulated in favour of the view that memory is not a unitary faculty; rather, it can be subdivided into a num- ber of functionally independent subsystems. Whilst dividing memory phenomena into these distinct subsystems has undoubtedly advanced our understanding of memory as a whole, the approach of studying subsystems in isolation fails to address potential interactions between them. Over the last few decades there has been a gradual increase in the number of studies attempting to move be- yond dissociation by characterising functional interactions between subsystems of memory. The main aim of this thesis was to contribute to this endeavour, by examining interactions between two specific subsystems that are positioned on opposite sides of the declarative and non-declarative divide in long-term mem- ory: priming and episodic recognition. Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) were employed to monitor neural markers of repetition priming and episodic memory during recognition tests with masked priming of test cues. In the standard pro- cedure, half of the studied and unstudied test trials began with a brief (48ms) masked repetition of the to-be-recognized word prior to the onset of test items; the remaining unprimed trials were preceded by the word “blank”. The pattern of priming effects across experiments was reasonably consistent, with differences between experiments directly related to the intended manipulations. In contrast to priming effects, the pattern of memory effects was variable across experiments, demonstrating that the engagement of explicit recognition signals is influenced by the outcome of implicit processing, and suggesting that interactions between priming and explicit retrieval processes do occur. Taken together, results from experiments reported in this thesis indicate (1) that under certain circumstances, priming is sufficient to support accurate recognition and does not necessitate changes in memory performance, (2) that mid-frontal old/new effects indexing familiarity are not merely driven by repeated access to semantic information, and (3) that priming influences neural correlates of recollection by speeding their onset. Overall, the data clearly demonstrate that there are multiple potentially interacting routes to recognition.
Supervisor: Donaldson, David Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Explicit memory ; Implicit memory ; Masked repetition priming ; Familiarity ; Recollection ; Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) ; Evoked potentials (Electrophysiology) ; Recognition (Psychology)