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An associative analysis of recognition memory: Relative recency effects in an eye-tracking paradigm

Nitka, Aleksander W.; Bonardi, Charlotte; Robinson, Jasper

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Aleksander W. Nitka


We report 2 eye-tracking experiments with human variants of 2 rodent recognition memory tasks, relative recency and object-in-place. In Experiment 1 participants were sequentially exposed to 2 images, A then B, presented on a computer display. When subsequently tested with both images, participants biased looking toward the first-presented image A: the relative recency effect. When contextual stimuli x and y, respectively, accompanied A and B in the exposure phase (xA,yB), the recency effect was greater when y was present at test, than when x was present. In Experiment 2 participants viewed 2 identical presentations of a 4-image array, ABCD, followed by a test with the same array, but in which one of thepairs of stimuli exchanged position (BACD orABDC). Participants looked preferentially at the displaced stimulus pair: the object-in-place effect. Three further conditions replicated Experiment 1’s findings: 2 pairs of images were presented one after the other (AB followed by CD); on a test with AB and CD,relative recency was again evident as preferential looking at AB. Moreover, this effect was greater when the positions of the first-presented A and B were exchanged between exposure and test (BACD), compared with when the positions of second-presented C and D were exchanged (ABDC). The results were interpreted within the theoretical framework of the Sometime Opponent Process model of associative learning (Wagner, 1981).

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 23, 2020
Publication Date 2020-07
Deposit Date Apr 29, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 31, 2020
Journal Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition
Print ISSN 2329-8456
Electronic ISSN 2329-8464
Publisher American Psychological Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 3
Pages 314-326
Keywords recognition; eye-tracking; recency; object-in-place; association
Public URL
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