The Role of Familiarity in Episodic Memory and Metamemory for Music

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Participants heard music snippets of varying melodic and instrumental familiarity paired with animal-name titles. They then recalled the target when given either the melody or the title as a cue, or they gave feeling-of-knowing (FOK) ratings. In general, recall for titles was better than it was for melodies, and recall was enhanced with increasing melodic familiarity of both the cues and the targets. Accuracy of FOK ratings, but not magnitude, also increased with increasing familiarity. Although similar ratings were given after melody and title cues, accuracy was better with title cues. Finally, knowledge of the real titles of the familiar music enhanced recall but had, by and large, no effect on the FOK ratings.

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