Out of place, out of mind : schema-driven false memory effects for object-location bindings

Lew, Adina Raquel and Howe, Mark L. (2017) Out of place, out of mind : schema-driven false memory effects for object-location bindings. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43 (3). pp. 404-421. ISSN 0278-7393

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Events consist of diverse elements, each processed in specialised neocortical networks, with temporal lobe memory systems binding these elements to form coherent event memories. We provide a novel theoretical analysis of an unexplored consequence of the independence of memory systems for elements and their bindings, one that raises the paradoxical prediction that schema-driven false memories can act solely on the binding of event elements despite the superior retrieval of individual elements. This is because if two, or more, schema-relevant elements are bound together in unexpected conjunctions, the unexpected conjunction will increase attention during encoding to both the elements and their bindings, but only the bindings will receive competition with evoked schema-expected bindings. We test our model by examining memory for object-location bindings in recognition (Study 1) and recall (Studies 2 and 3) tasks. After studying schema-relevant objects in unexpected locations (e.g. pan on a stool in a kitchen scene), participants who then viewed these objects in expected locations (e.g. pan on stove) at test were more likely to falsely remember this object-location pairing as correct, compared to participants that viewed a different unexpected object-location pairing (e.g. pan on floor). In recall, participants were more likely to correctly remember individual schema-relevant objects originally viewed in unexpected, as opposed to expected locations, but were then more likely to misplace these items in the original room scene to expected places, relative to control schema-irrelevant objects. Our theoretical analysis and novel paradigm provide a tool for investigating memory distortions acting on binding processes.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? experimental and cognitive psychology ??
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Deposited On:
04 Jul 2016 09:48
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:42