Modeling Memory for Absolute Location

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Abstract

A model for recall of location is presented that postulates 2 encoding processes: 1 producing exact (all-or-none) recall, the other resulting in inexact recall. Exact recall is modeled as the outcome of a perceptual discrimination process, and inexact recall is modeled as the incomplete outcome of a Poisson process of information gain. The model accurately predicts levels of recall and patterns of errors in a number of experiments and articulates a lawful relationship between recall and elements of picture composition, such as the dimensions of the to-be-recalled attributes and the configuration of anchor points in the picture. This model enables a reappraisal of previous theoretical approaches to memory for location and of related studies concerned with automaticity in memory. The significance of this model as a general analytical device for the study of continuous attributes in memory is discussed.

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