Divided attention enhances explicit but not implicit conceptual memory: an item-specific account of the attentional boost effect

Pietro Spataro, Neil W. Mulligan, Giulia Bechi Gabrielli, Clelia Rossi-Arnaud

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

The Attentional Boost Effect (ABE) refers to the counterintuitive finding that words encoded with to-be-responded targets in a divided-attention condition are remembered better than words encoded with distractors. Previous studies suggested that the ABE-related enhancement of verbal memory depends upon the activation of abstract lexical representations. In the present study, we extend this hypothesis by embedding it in the context of a broader perspective, which proposes that divided attention in the ABE paradigm affects item-specific, but not relational, processing. To this purpose, we examined the ABE in the matched tasks of category-cued recall (CCRT: explicit memory) and category exemplar generation (CEGT: implicit memory). In addition, study time was varied (500, 1500 or 4000 ms), to further determine whether the attentional boost manipulation could influence late-phase elaborative processing. In agreement with the predictions of the item-specific account, the results showed that exemplars encoded with targets were recalled better than exemplars encoded with distractors in the CCRT, but not in the CEGT. Moreover, performance in the CCRT increased with study time, whereas the size of the ABE-related enhancement tended to decrease, further confirming that this effect hinges upon early phase encoding processes.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages170-175
Number of pages6
JournalMemory
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 7 2017

Fingerprint

Divided Attention
Distractor
Enhancement
Prediction
Activation
Implicit Memory
Hinge
Paradigm
Cued Recall
Encoding
Verbal Memory
Lexical Representation
Manipulation

Keywords

  • Attentional boost effect
  • category exemplar generation
  • category-cued recall
  • implicit memory
  • item-specific/relational processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Divided attention enhances explicit but not implicit conceptual memory : an item-specific account of the attentional boost effect. / Spataro, Pietro; Mulligan, Neil W.; Bechi Gabrielli, Giulia; Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia.

In: Memory, Vol. 25, No. 2, 07.02.2017, p. 170-175.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Spataro, Pietro ; Mulligan, Neil W. ; Bechi Gabrielli, Giulia ; Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia. / Divided attention enhances explicit but not implicit conceptual memory : an item-specific account of the attentional boost effect. In: Memory. 2017 ; Vol. 25, No. 2. pp. 170-175
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