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Lexico-semantic structure and the word-frequency effect in recognition memory
 

Summary: Lexico-semantic structure and the word-frequency
effect in recognition memory
Joseph D. Monaco,1,3
L. F. Abbott,1
and Michael J. Kahana2
1
Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University College of
Physicians and Surgeons, Kolb Research Annex, New York, New York, 10032-2695, USA; 2
Department of Psychology, University
of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
The word-frequency effect (WFE) in recognition memory refers to the finding that more rare words are better
recognized than more common words. We demonstrate that a familiarity-discrimination model operating on data
from a semantic word-association space yields a robust WFE in data on both hit rates and false-alarm rates. Our
modeling results suggest that word frequency is encoded in the semantic structure of language, and that this
encoding contributes to the WFE observed in item-recognition experiments.
Old­new item recognition is the task of deciding whether or not
test items were presented on a previous study list. Performance is
quantified as the probability of old responses to (old) study items
(hit rate [HR]) and to (new) nonstudy items (false-alarm rate
[FAR]). One of the most prominent phenomena observed in this

  

Source: Abbott, Laurence - Center for Neurobiology and Behavior & Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine