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October 2021

German contributions to research on episodic memory

Journal/Book: Z Exp Psychol. 2000; 47: Rohnsweg 25, D-37085 Gottingen, Germany. Hogrefe & Huber Publishers. 253-268.

Abstract: The paper deals with the study of remembering episodes and particularly with German contributions to the field. It is characteristic for remembering episodes that we experience them only once and not repeatedly as in multitrial learning. The paper focuses on three distinctions which are made in studying episodic memory. These distinctions refer to modality-specific and amodal (conceptual) information, item-specific and relational information, and automatic and controlled processes. Among them, the distinction between modality-specific and amodal conceptual information is the most important. It is argued that the assumption of storing modality-specific besides conceptual information is indispensable and that it modifies the assumptions concerning the two other distinctions. Relational information refers to conceptual knowledge and is independent of modality-specific information processing, whereas encoding and retrieval of item-specific information is dependent on modality-specific processes. The distinction between automatic and controlled processes is obviously relevant. However, it turns out that this distinction is difficult to define conceptually and operationally. Interestingly, this distinction has attracted more attention in the context of retrieval than of encoding processes. The most important progress has been made in applying it to the processes underlying recognition memory.

Note: Review Engelkamp J, Univ Saarlandes, Fachrichtung Psychol, D-66123 Saarbrucken, GERMANY

Keyword(s): automatic processes; item-specific information; conceptual information; controlled processes; modality-specific information; relational information; PROCESS DISSOCIATION PROCEDURE; DISTINCT CORTICAL ACTIVATION; LONG-TERM-MEMORY; WORKING-MEMORY; RECOLLECTIVE EXPERIENCE; RECOGNITION JUDGMENTS; INFORMATION; RECALL; FRAMEWORK; RETRIEVAL

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