Changes in recognition memory over time: an ERP investigation into vocabulary learning.
ABSTRACT: Although it seems intuitive to assume that recognition memory fades over time when information is not reinforced, some aspects of word learning may benefit from a period of consolidation. In the present study, event-related potentials (ERP) were used to examine changes in recognition memory responses to familiar and newly learned (novel) words over time. Native English speakers were taught novel words associated with English translations, and subsequently performed a Recognition Memory task in which they made old/new decisions in response to both words (trained word vs. untrained word), and novel words (trained novel word vs. untrained novel word). The Recognition task was performed 45 minutes after training (Day 1) and then repeated the following day (Day 2) with no additional training session in between. For familiar words, the late parietal old/new effect distinguished old from new items on both Day 1 and Day 2, although response to trained items was significantly weaker on Day 2. For novel words, the LPC again distinguished old from new items on both days, but the effect became significantly larger on Day 2. These data suggest that while recognition memory for familiar items may fade over time, recognition of novel items, conscious recollection in particular may benefit from a period of consolidation.
Project description:We studied the initial acquisition and overnight consolidation of new spoken words that resemble words in the native language (L1) or in an unfamiliar, non-native language (L2). Spanish-speaking participants learned the spoken forms of novel words in their native language (Spanish) or in a different language (Hungarian), which were paired with pictures of familiar or unfamiliar objects, or no picture. We thereby assessed, in a factorial way, the impact of existing knowledge (schema) on word learning by manipulating both semantic (familiar vs unfamiliar objects) and phonological (L1- vs L2-like novel words) familiarity. Participants were trained and tested with a 12-hr intervening period that included overnight sleep or daytime awake. Our results showed (1) benefits of sleep to recognition memory that were greater for words with L2-like phonology and (2) that learned associations with familiar but not unfamiliar pictures enhanced recognition memory for novel words. Implications for complementary systems accounts of word learning are discussed.
Project description:Purpose The aim of the study was to determine the integrity of fast mapping among adults with developmental language disorder (DLD). Method Forty-eight adults with DLD or typical language development (TD) were presented with 24 novel words and photos of their unfamiliar referents from the semantic categories of <i>mammal, bird, fruit,</i> or <i>insect</i> in two conditions. In the fast-mapping condition, 12 of the 24 unfamiliar referents were presented, one at a time alongside a familiar referent (e.g., a dog) and a question (e.g., <i>Is the tail of the torato up?</i>). In the explicit-encoding condition, the other 12 unfamiliar referents were presented alone, one at a time, with a label (e.g., <i>This is a spimer</i>). Immediately after exposure (T1) and again after a 1-day interval (T2), memory for the word-to-exemplar link was measured with a three-alternative forced-choice test, requiring the participant to match a spoken word to one of three pictured referents from the training set. At T2, memory for semantic category information was measured with a four-alternative forced-choice test, requiring the participant to match a spoken word to one of four prototypical silhouettes representing each of the semantic categories. Results Performance on word-to-exemplar link recognition was stronger for words learned in the explicit-encoding than the fast-mapping condition and stronger for the TD group than the DLD group. Time was not a significant factor as both groups maintained posttraining levels of performance after a 1-day retention interval. Performance on semantic category recognition was stronger for words learned in the explicit-encoding than the fast-mapping condition and stronger for the TD group than the DLD group. The lower category recognition performance of the DLD group was related to their lower nonverbal IQ scores. Conclusion Contexts that allow for explicit encoding yield better learning of word-to-referent links than contexts that allow for fast mapping in both stronger and weaker learners. Adults with DLD have difficulty learning the link between words and referents, whether trained via fast mapping or explicit encoding and whether tested with exemplar or category referents. Retention is a relative strength for adults with DLD. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.12765551.
Project description:Recognition of and memory for a spoken word can be facilitated by a prior presentation of that word spoken by the same talker. However, it is less clear whether this speaker congruency advantage generalizes to facilitate recognition of unheard related words. The present investigation employed a false memory paradigm to examine whether information about a speaker's identity in items heard by listeners could influence the recognition of novel items (critical intruders) phonologically or semantically related to the studied items. In Experiment 1, false recognition of semantically associated critical intruders was sensitive to speaker information, though only when subjects attended to talker identity during encoding. Results from Experiment 2 also provide some evidence that talker information affects the false recognition of critical intruders. Taken together, the present findings indicate that indexical information is able to contact the lexical-semantic network to affect the processing of unheard words.
Project description:Evidence suggests that new vocabulary undergoes a period of strengthening and integration offline, particularly during sleep. Practical questions remain, however, including whether learning closer to bedtime can optimize consolidation, and whether such an effect varies with vocabulary ability. To examine this, children aged 8-12-years-old (n 59) were trained on written novel forms (e.g. BANARA) in either the morning (long delay) or the evening (short delay). Immediately after training and the next day, lexical competition (a marker of integration) was assessed via speeded semantic decisions to neighbouring existing words (e.g. BANANA); explicit memory was measured via recognition and recall tasks. There were no main effects indicating performance changes across sleep for any task, counter to studies of spoken word learning. However, a significant interaction was found, such that children with poorer vocabulary showed stronger lexical competition on the day after learning if there was a short delay between learning and sleep. Furthermore, while poorer vocabulary was associated with slower novel word recognition speed before and after sleep for the long delay group, this association was only present before sleep for the short delay group. Thus, weak vocabulary knowledge compromises novel word acquisition, and when there is a longer period of post-learning wake, this disadvantage remains after a consolidation opportunity. However, when sleep occurs soon after learning, consolidation processes can compensate for weaker encoding and permit lexical integration. These data provide preliminary suggestion that children with poorer vocabulary may benefit from learning new words closer to bedtime.
Project description:Native (L1) and to some extent non-native (L2) speakers have shown processing advantages for idioms compared to novel literal phrases, and there is limited evidence that this advantage also extends to memory in L1 children. This study investigated whether these advantages generalize to recognition memory in adults. It employed a learning paradigm to test whether there is a recognition memory advantage for idioms compared to literal phrases in adult L1 and L2 learners considering both form and meaning recognition. Additionally, we asked whether the presence of unfamiliar vocabulary interferes with phrasal learning by looking at recall of such unfamiliar words. When encountering new idioms, L2 learners often must cope with both figurative meaning and unfamiliar vocabulary. While single word meaning need not interfere with idiomatic meaning, it is a building block for the meaning of literal phrases. In Experiment 1, L2 learners showed equal recall for the form and meaning of literal and idiomatic phrases in which either all words were highly familiar, or one word was unfamiliar. However, unfamiliar words decreased overall recognition and were also remembered significantly better in literal compared to idiomatic phrases. In Experiment 2, L1 speakers also showed no recall differences between phrase types, but they displayed a trending increase in recognition in the presence of unfamiliar words. We conclude that there is no inherent recognition memory advantage for idioms based on figurativeness alone, and word- and phrasal meaning interact differently in learner groups.
Project description:In everyday life, recognition decisions often have to be made for multiple objects simultaneously. In contrast, research on recognition memory has predominantly relied on single-item recognition paradigms. We present a first systematic investigation into the cognitive processes that differ between single-word and paired-word tests of recognition memory. In a single-word test, participants categorize previously presented words and new words as having been studied before (old) or not (new). In a paired-word test, however, the test words are randomly paired, and participants provide joint old-new categorizations of both words for each pair. Across two experiments (N = 170), we found better memory performance for words tested singly rather than in pairs and, more importantly, dependencies between the two single-word decisions implied by the paired-word test. We extended two popular model classes of single-item recognition to paired-word recognition, a discrete-state model and a continuous model. Both models attribute performance differences between single-word and paired-word recognition to differences in memory-evidence strength. Discrete-state models account for the dependencies in paired-word decisions in terms of dependencies in guessing. In contrast, continuous models map the dependencies on mnemonic (Experiment 1 & 2) as well as on decisional processes (Experiment 2). However, in both experiments, model comparison favored the discrete-state model, indicating that memory decisions for word pairs seem to be mediated by discrete states. Our work suggests that individuals tackle multiple-item recognition fundamentally differently from single-item recognition, and it provides both a behavioral and model-based paradigm for studying multiple-item recognition.
Project description:Previous research has shown that familiarity with a talker's voice can improve linguistic processing (herein, "Familiar Talker Advantage"), but this benefit is constrained by the context in which the talker's voice is familiar. The current study examined how familiarity affects intelligibility by manipulating the type of talker information available to listeners. One group of listeners learned to identify bilingual talkers' voices from English words, where they learned language-specific talker information. A second group of listeners learned the same talkers from German words, and thus only learned language-independent talker information. After voice training, both groups of listeners completed a word recognition task with English words produced by both familiar and unfamiliar talkers. Results revealed that English-trained listeners perceived more phonemes correct for familiar than unfamiliar talkers, while German-trained listeners did not show improved intelligibility for familiar talkers. The absence of a processing advantage in speech intelligibility for the German-trained listeners demonstrates limitations on the Familiar Talker Advantage, which crucially depends on the language context in which the talkers' voices were learned; knowledge of how a talker produces linguistically relevant contrasts in a particular language is necessary to increase speech intelligibility for words produced by familiar talkers.
Project description:In this study, we sought to examine the effect of experimentally induced somatic pain on memory. Subjects heard a series of words and made categorization decisions in two different conditions. One condition included painful shocks administered just after presentation of some of the words; the other condition involved no shocks. For the condition that included painful stimulations, every other word was followed by a shock, and subjects were informed to expect this pattern. Word lists were repeated three times within each condition in randomized order, with different category judgments but consistent pain-word pairings. After a brief delay, recognition memory was assessed. Non-pain words from the pain condition were less strongly encoded than non-pain words from the completely pain-free condition. Recognition of pain-paired words was not significantly different than either subgroup of non-pain words. An important accompanying finding is that response times to repeated experimental items were slower for non-pain words from the pain condition, compared to non-pain words from the completely pain-free condition. This demonstrates that the effect of pain on memory may generalize to non-pain items experienced in the same experimental context.
Project description:The goal of this study was to investigate recognition memory performance across the lifespan and to determine how estimates of recollection and familiarity contribute to performance. In each of three experiments, participants from five groups from 14 up to 85 years of age (children, young adults, middle-aged adults, young-old adults, and old-old adults) were presented with high- and low-frequency words in a study phase and were tested immediately afterwards and/or after a one day retention interval. The results showed that word frequency and retention interval affected recognition memory performance as well as estimates of recollection and familiarity. Across the lifespan, the trajectory of recognition memory followed an inverse u-shape function that was neither affected by word frequency nor by retention interval. The trajectory of estimates of recollection also followed an inverse u-shape function, and was especially pronounced for low-frequency words. In contrast, estimates of familiarity did not differ across the lifespan. The results indicate that age differences in recognition memory are mainly due to differences in processes related to recollection while the contribution of familiarity-based processes seems to be age-invariant.
Project description:Previous studies have shown that prior knowledge can have both enhancing and detrimental effects on memory for relevant information. Few studies have explored the boundary conditions under which prior knowledge facilitates or interferes with memory processes. In addition, to what extent the effects of prior knowledge change over time is unclear. In this study, we addressed this question by separating category familiarity (i.e., prior conceptual knowledge) and stimulus familiarity at different retention intervals. Participants were tested with a recognition task after they learned four types of words, that is., familiar words from familiar categories (FwordFcate) and unfamiliar categories (FwordUcate) as well as unfamiliar words from familiar (UwordFcate) and unfamiliar categories (UwordUcate). The results showed a significant interaction between category familiarity and word familiarity, that is, unfamiliar words, but not familiar words, from familiar categories were remembered better than those from unfamiliar categories. The enhancing effect of category familiarity depended on the recollection process and remained stable over time. This study suggested that stimulus familiarity modulates the effects of category familiarity on memory performance, and clarified the boundary conditions for the effects of prior knowledge.