Memory and consciousness: Trace distinctiveness in memory retrievals

Consciousness and Cognition 19 (4):926-937 (2010)
Abstract
The aim of this article was to provide experimental evidence that classical dissociation between levels of consciousness associated with memory retrieval can be explained in terms of task dependency and distinctiveness of traces. In our study phase, we manipulated the level of isolation of the memory trace by means of an isolation paradigm . We then tested these two types of isolation in a series of tasks of increasing complexity: a lexical decision task, a recognition task, and a free recall task. The main result of this study was that distinctiveness effects were observed as a function of the type of isolation and the nature of the task. We concluded that trace distinctiveness improves subsequent access to the trace, while the level of trace distinctiveness also appears to determine the possibility of conscious or explicit retrieval
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2010.08.006
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