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Memory May Not Serve Completely Correct

Published in Memory.

Summary: People occasionally correctly recall information in the presence of strong semantic clues without previously storing the information to memory.

Source: Florida Tech

Britannica defines memory as “the encoding, storage and retrieval in the human mind of past experiences.” A new study involving a Florida Tech researcher may upend that classic characterization: It shows people sometimes correctly recall information in the presence of strong semantic cues without previously storing it.

“Recallable but not recognizable: The influence of semantic priming in recall paradigms,” a paper written by Florida Tech psychology assistant professor Richard Addante, along with researchers from NASA, SUNY Geneseo, University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, discovered the memory error through examining the mechanism that drives the production of recognition failures.

The paper, which was published in the January edition of Cognitive Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, showed that just because a person can recall a word doesn’t mean they consciously remember it.