ERIC Number: EJ730330
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Memory Retrieval Given Two Independent Cues: Cue Selection or Parallel Access?
Rickard, Timothy C.; Bajic, Daniel
Cognitive Psychology, v48 n3 p243-294 May 2004
A basic but unresolved issue in the study of memory retrieval is whether multiple independent cues can be used concurrently (i.e., in parallel) to recall a single, common response. A number of empirical results, as well as potentially applicable theories, suggest that retrieval can proceed in parallel, though Rickard (1997) set forth a model that denies that possibility. In this paper, five quantitative models are developed to test broad candidate principles. In multiple experiments, subjects were trained to retrieve a vocal digit response for each member of a set of letter or color cues. In subsequent test and transfer phases, single cue trials were randomly mixed with dual cue trials on which the two cues always required the same response. For the first few repetitions of each new set of dual cue items, there was no evidence of parallel retrieval over any part of the RT distribution. After more repetitions, dual cue trials were performed faster than single cue trials, but only under conditions that were favorable to development of a ''chunked'' dual cue representation. These results indicate that associative independence is an important modulating variable that must be heeded in any general model of attention and memory retrieval. Further, the results are most consistent with a model that places the performance bottleneck prior to the retrieval stage of processing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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