The Effect of Environmental Context Manipulation on Memory: Dissociation Between Perceptual and Conceptual Implicit Tests

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In two experiments we investigated environmental context (EC) reinstatement effects on conceptual and perceptual implicit memory and on explicit memory. Participants completed an incidental study phase, where they judged words for pleasantness, and subsequently performed two memory tests in the same or in a different room. In Experiment 1, a facilitatory effect of EC reinstatement was found for a conceptual implicit test of memory, category production, and for an explicit tests, free recall, but not for a perceptual implicit test, fragment completion. In Experiment 2, a facilitatory effect of EC reinstatement was obtained for a new conceptual implicit test, cryptic general knowledge questions, and for free recall, but not for two perceptual implicit tests, fragment completion and anagram solution. We conclude that EC reinstatement facilitates both conceptual implicit memory performance and explicit memory performance when measured by free recall, but not perceptual implicit memory performance.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 1999

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