The proposal is for an experimental study of episodic memory. A major goal is to demonstrate the viability of a unique metatheoretical framework within which human memory can be conceptualized and studied. Contrary to contemporary practice, the proposed research was conceived, is presented, and will eventually be reported from a radical funtionalist perspective. No reference will be made to the core information-processing construct of retention; no hidden entities or processes will be postulated to bridge the temporal gap between an event and its recollection. Neither will recourse be made to most of the other information-processing constructs. Rather, recall will be considered in probabilistic terms and as a function of various conditions and combinations of conditions. On the other hand, emphasis will be given to the experiential side of memory. Research conducted within this framework should be simpler and easier to extend to the study of memory pathology than research conducted within an information-processing framework. The particular research proposed should provide basic information relevant to an understanding of the nature of amnesia as well as to memory of the deaf. Much of the proposed research will involve presenting subjects (mostly college students) with lists of items (usually randomly selected words) and then, after a variable interval, administering one of several kinds of memory tests. The experiments fall into seven """"""""studies"""""""". Study 1 concerns generic memory--the ability to remember a set of previously studied items as a set. Study 2 will examine certain specific behavioral effects, evident in amnesics as well as in normals, of an earlier experience that cannot be recollected. Study 3 will investigate the insensitivity of cued recall to variables that affect free recall and recognition. Study 4 will explore evidence that the effectiveness of a recall cue depends upon its manner of presentation. Study 5 will examine the conditions under which effective rehearsal occurs and its degree of specificity. Study 6 will pursue tentative evidence for a blocking effect on the ability to study particular items of information. Finally, Study 7 explores a """"""""law"""""""" whereby verbal information is more likely to ascend and persist in mind if it is heard than if it is read.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Psychobiology and Behavior Research Review Committee (BBP)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Rice University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Bloom, Lance C (2006) Two-component theory of the suffix effect: contrary evidence. Mem Cognit 34:648-67
Watkins, M J; LeCompte, D C; Kim, K (2000) Role of study strategy in recall of mixed lists of common and rare words. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 26:239-45
Bloom, L C; Watkins, M J (1999) Two-component theory of the suffix effect: contrary findings. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 25:1452-74
Neely, C B; LeCompte, D C (1999) The importance of semantic similarity to the irrelevant speech effect. Mem Cognit 27:37-44
LeCompte, D C; Neely, C B; Wilson, J R (1997) Irrelevant speech and irrelevant tones: the relative importance of speech to the irrelevant speech effect. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 23:472-83
LeCompte, D C; Shaibe, D M (1997) On the irrelevance of phonological similarity to the irrelevant speech effect. Q J Exp Psychol A 50:100-18
LeCompte, D C (1996) Irrelevant speech, serial rehearsal, and temporal distinctiveness: a new approach to the irrelevant speech effect. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 22:1154-65
LeCompte, D C; Watkins, M J (1995) Grouping in primary memory: the case of the compound suffix. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 21:96-102
LeCompte, D C; Watkins, M J (1993) Similarity as an organising principle in short-term memory. Memory 1:3-22
Watkins, M J; LeCompte, D C; Elliott, M N et al. (1992) Short-term memory for the timing of auditory and visual signals. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 18:931-7

Showing the most recent 10 out of 24 publications