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When distraction benefits memory through semantic similarity

Hanczakowski, M., Beaman, C. P. and Jones, D. M. (2017) When distraction benefits memory through semantic similarity. Journal of Memory and Language, 94. pp. 61-74. ISSN 0749-596X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jml.2016.11.005


The processing of the relation between targets and distracters which underpins the impairment in memory for visually presented words when accompanied by semantically related auditory distracters—the between-sequence semantic similarity effect—might also disambiguate category membership of to-be-remembered words, bringing about improved memory for these words at recall. In this series of experiments the usual impairment of the between-sequence semantic similarity effect is reversed: we show that related distracters can improve memory performance when multiple-category lists are studied and a category-cued recall test is used at retrieval. The results indicate not only that irrelevant speech distracters are routinely processed for meaning, but also that semantic information gleaned from this stream is retained until recall of the memoranda is cued. The data are consistent with a revised interaction-by-process framework.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:6109


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