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The study of human memory and in particular the attempts to distinguish between different types of memory have benn investigated for the last century. Philosophy, psychiatry and psychologh have all contributed to this study. Korsakoff, Freud and Ebbinghaus are among the early contributers. Although their observations were not always methodological as strict as with current research they did play a vital role. One critisim of the early work was that there were few attempts to develope theroetical accounts of the dissociations that they observed (Schacter, 1989). This is of great importance to the study of implicit memory. One of the earliest uses of ‘implicit’ and ‘explicit’ memory distinctions in research was by Wiliam McDougall (Outline of psychology, 1924). This distinction defined ‘explicit’ memory as involving conscious recollection of a past event and ‘implicit’ memory as involving a change in behaviour that is attriduted to a recent event but contains no conscious recollection or explicit reference. (Schacter, 1989).

Much of the controvacy that surrounds implicit memory study centeres arround its definition. Whether it defines the pretest situation or a theoritical construct of the underlying memory process. The main argument is that if similiar items must share common features if they are to belong to the same catagory of test or process.

” Some ttheorists, for example, have argued that different manifestations of memory are attributable to the operation of the distinct memory systems(e.g. Schacter 1989; Squire 1992; Tulving 1993; Tulving and Schacter 1990). Others argue that these different manifestations are consistent with a process viewpoint (e.g. Jacoby et al. 1989a; Kolers and Roediger 1984; Roediger 1990; Roediger et al 1989).” From Richardson-Klavehn (1996).

To explicate the positions, a review of the experimental evidence is necessary.

Recently five main areas have informed research into implicit memory, Schacter (1989).These are savings during learning, effects of subliminally encoded stimuli, learning and conditioning without awareness, repetition priming and preserved learning in amnesic patients. These are reviewed in turn.

Savings are the ability to relearn previously learned material in the absence of any knowledge of the previous learning situation. Although there is an influence of the previous learning situation on proformance. The most conclusive evidence for this comes from Nelson (1978), who has shown savings for items that are neither recalled nor recognised.

Studies have demonstrated implicit memory for subliminal or briefly exposed stimuli under conditions in which subjects had no explicit memory. An auditory divided attention task in which homophones were presented on the unattended channel together with word intended to bias the low frequency interpretation of the homophone (e.g. taxi – FARE ), Eich (1984).

Lewicki (1985) found that after exposure to adjective -noun

pairs, subjects tended to choose the adjective that they had been exposed to when they were asked about the noun. Schacter (1989).

Learning without awarness has been shown it rule learning studies. Subjects were shown letter strings from an artifical grammer and were able to identify grammatically correct strings even though they were not conscious of the propper rules, Reber (1976) called this implicit learning.

Repetition Priming effects have been characterised by lexical decision, woed identification and word stem of fragment completion tasks. This area derives from two distinct and at times

The study of human memory and in particular the attempts to distinguish between different types of memory have benn investigated for the last century. Philosophy, psychiatry and psychologh have all contributed to this study. Korsakoff, Freud and Ebbinghaus are among the early contributers. Although their observations were not always methodological as strict as with current research they did play a vital role. One critisim of the early work was that there were few attempts to develope theroetical accounts of the dissociations that they observed (Schacter, 1989). This is of great importance to the study of implicit memory. One of the earliest uses of ‘implicit’ and ‘explicit’ memory distinctions in research was by Wiliam McDougall (Outline of psychology, 1924). This distinction defined ‘explicit’ memory as involving conscious recollection of a past event and ‘implicit’ memory as involving a change in behaviour that is attriduted to a recent event but contains no conscious recollection or explicit reference. (Schacter, 1989).

Much of the controvacy that surrounds implicit memory study centeres arround its definition. Whether it defines the pretest situation or a theoritical construct of the underlying memory process. The main argument is that if similiar items must share common features if they are to belong to the same catagory of test or process.

” Some ttheorists, for example, have argued that different manifestations of memory are attributable to the operation of the distinct memory systems(e.g. Schacter 1989; Squire 1992; Tulving 1993; Tulving and Schacter 1990). Others argue that these different manifestations are consistent with a process viewpoint (e.g. Jacoby et al. 1989a; Kolers and Roediger 1984; Roediger 1990; Roediger et al 1989).” From Richardson-Klavehn (1996).

To explicate the positions, a review of the experimental evidence is necessary.

Recently five main areas have informed research into implicit memory, Schacter (1989).These are savings during learning, effects of subliminally encoded stimuli, learning and conditioning without awareness, repetition priming and preserved learning in amnesic patients. These are reviewed in turn.

Savings are the ability to relearn previously learned material in the absence of any knowledge of the previous learning situation. Although there is an influence of the previous learning situation on proformance. The most conclusive evidence for this comes from Nelson (1978), who has shown savings for items that are neither recalled nor recognised.

Studies have demonstrated implicit memory for subliminal or briefly exposed stimuli under conditions in which subjects had no explicit memory. An auditory divided attention task in which homophones were presented on the unattended channel together with word intended to bias the low frequency interpretation of the homophone (e.g. taxi – FARE ), Eich (1984).

Lewicki (1985) found that after exposure to adjective -noun

pairs, subjects tended to choose the adjective that they had been exposed to when they were asked about the noun. Schacter (1989).

Learning without awarness has been shown it rule learning studies. Subjects were shown letter strings from an artifical grammer and were able to identify grammatically correct strings even though they were not conscious of the propper rules, Reber (1976) called this implicit learning.

Repetition Priming effects have been characterised by lexical decision, woed identification and word stem of fragment completion tasks. This area derives from two distinct and at times


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