Can inhibition resolve retrieval competition through the control of spreading activation?

Jo Saunders, Malcolm MacLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two experiments are reported in which the mechanisms underlying retrieval-induced forgetting for complex prose materials were investigated, using the independent probe technique pioneered by Anderson and Spellman (1995). These experiments provide additional empirical evidence in support of an inhibitory account of memory. Specifically, evidence emerged not only for the inhibition of nonpracticed items from practiced sets (i.e., first-order effects), but also for the inhibition of items from nonpracticed sets that were semantically related to practiced items in practiced sets (i.e., cross-category effects) and for items from nonpracticed sets that were semantically related to nonpracticed items in practiced sets (i.e., second-order effects). These findings are considered in terms of Anderson and Spellman's model of inhibitory processing. We also outline an alternative inhibitory interpretation. Specifically, we consider how inhibition may function as a way of controlling the spread of activation and what implications this may have for the flexibility and adaptiveness of memory.
LanguageEnglish
Pages307-322
Number of pages16
JournalMemory and Cognition
Volume34
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

Fingerprint

Spreading Activation
Inhibition (Psychology)
Experiment
Empirical Evidence
Prose
Retrieval-induced Forgetting
Activation

Keywords

  • inhibition
  • human information storage
  • memory

Cite this

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Can inhibition resolve retrieval competition through the control of spreading activation? / Saunders, Jo; MacLeod, Malcolm.

In: Memory and Cognition, Vol. 34, No. 2, 03.2006, p. 307-322.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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