Document Type

Article

Date

2008

Embargo Period

11-2012

Keywords

Association and context, Episodic memory research, Temporal continguity, Semantic relatedness

Language

English

Disciplines

Cognition and Perception | Psychology

Description/Abstract

Association and context constitute two of the central ideas in the history of episodic memory research. Following a brief discussion of the history of these ideas, we review data that demonstrate the complementary roles of temporal contiguity and semantic relatedness in determining the order in which subjects recall lists of items and the timing of their successive recalls. These analyses reveal that temporal contiguity effects persist over very long time scales, a result that challenges traditional psychological and neuroscientific models of association. The form of the temporal contiguity effect is conserved across all of the major recall tasks and even appears in item recognition when subjects respond with high confidence. The nearuniversal form of the contiguity effect and its appearance at diverse time scales is shown to place tight constraints on the major theories of association.

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