Examining the Dual-Process Model of Recognition Memory.
Cantor, Aviva Rachel
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Abstract There are two competing theories of recognition memory. One, known as the dual-process model, posits that recognition memory can be divided into two separate mechanisms that control recognition: recollection and familiarity. The other theory, the strength-based single-process model, proposes that recognition exists along a single continuum. Previous behavioral studies have been divided over this issue, with some providing support of the dual-process model and others using a signal-detection model showing the parsimony of adopting the single-process model. On closer examination of such studies, it appears that testing methods have relied upon many assumptions and data has often been misinterpreted and aggregated. Neurocognitive studies, including lesion studies, fMRI and ERP studies, have given more validity to the dual-process model. However, a true double dissociation study has yet to provide conclusive evidence of the dual-process model, and perhaps the field of memory research has been too quick to accept the dual-process model, ignoring what may be a more accurate single-process model. This paper aims to explore the competing evidence for and against the dual-process model of recognition by reviewing the common methodologies used to test the recollection/familiarity model, examining behavioral and neurocognitive support for recognition models, discussing a number of limitations in the current recognition research, suggesting methodological improvements, and proposing a re-examined model of recognition memory.
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