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Title: The role of expertise, semantics, and learning in spatial memory
Author: Dunn, T. J.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2012
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This research investigates the mechanisms that underpin object location memory. It approaches this endeavour by examining a recently reported phenomenon of spatial memory, that of exclusivity. Exclusivity states that given the opportunity to encode or retrieve two spatial memories, only one memory is relied upon for object location. This implies that two memories for where an object is located are not better than one. The role of limited capacity has been implicated in the exclusive processing of multiple objects. Accordingly, the aim of this thesis is to explore possible methods that enhance cognitive capacity in a way to overcome exclusivity. These methods include expertise, semantics and learning. It was proposed that expertise would allow for holistic processing of information and it would therefore increase the likelihood of spatial memory integration. Also, the connection between two related spatial memories was manipulated through the employment of semantic categories to aid in paired memory recognition. In addition to this, a learning paradigm was used which allowed for repeated exposure of spatial information over a 5 and 10 day period. The results of these studies indicate a failure to overcome exclusivity. This suggests that exclusive processing is a robust feature of spatial memory. The findings offer a number of important insights for the field. They provide two important accounts for the processing of multiple object locations. One argues memories are encoded and retreival in a strategic manner to avoid interference. The second proposes fragments of memories are encoded and constructively drawn upon at recall. This thesis also puts forward a unique explanation of how multiple object locations are learnt over time.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available