Presentation Title

How the Feeling of Knowing Influences Recall of Semantic Memories

Start Date

April 2020

End Date

April 2020

Major Field of Study

Psychology

Student Type

Undergraduate

Faculty Mentor(s)

Ian S. Madfes, PhD

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Human memory function requires information learning (encoding) and then later return to conscious awareness (retrieval/recall). Feeling of Knowing (FOK) is an emotional state in which one has a “sense of knowing” information when it cannot be more immediately recalled. Previous research has shown that FOK can accurately predict retrieval using episodic memory (storage of a particular event, e.g. last night’s dinner menu). To test the versatility of FOK, the present study will focus on understanding the retrieval systems involved in semantic memory (storage of general knowledge, e.g., a name).

Musical semantic memory can be defined as knowledge of “well known” familiar musical piece without knowing the context of learning. The brain may store this knowledge involuntarily and index the information deeply yet without immediate access; this may make recall more difficult due to the circumstances of the encoding process. Presuming FOK to be a more versatile experience than past studies have demonstrated, it is hypothesized that feelings of higher FOK will be associated with greater ability to passively recall musical semantic memory.

Fifty-three volunteers completed 153 experimental trials in which a song by a familiar artist was played for 3 seconds and then the participant attempted to name the song title using (in sequence): active recall, cued recall, passive recall after a brief period of meditation, recognition from a list of titles. Trial results did not support the hypothesis; there was very little occurrence of passive recall of song titles and the FOK scores were not effective predictors when it did occur.

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How the Feeling of Knowing Influences Recall of Semantic Memories

Human memory function requires information learning (encoding) and then later return to conscious awareness (retrieval/recall). Feeling of Knowing (FOK) is an emotional state in which one has a “sense of knowing” information when it cannot be more immediately recalled. Previous research has shown that FOK can accurately predict retrieval using episodic memory (storage of a particular event, e.g. last night’s dinner menu). To test the versatility of FOK, the present study will focus on understanding the retrieval systems involved in semantic memory (storage of general knowledge, e.g., a name).

Musical semantic memory can be defined as knowledge of “well known” familiar musical piece without knowing the context of learning. The brain may store this knowledge involuntarily and index the information deeply yet without immediate access; this may make recall more difficult due to the circumstances of the encoding process. Presuming FOK to be a more versatile experience than past studies have demonstrated, it is hypothesized that feelings of higher FOK will be associated with greater ability to passively recall musical semantic memory.

Fifty-three volunteers completed 153 experimental trials in which a song by a familiar artist was played for 3 seconds and then the participant attempted to name the song title using (in sequence): active recall, cued recall, passive recall after a brief period of meditation, recognition from a list of titles. Trial results did not support the hypothesis; there was very little occurrence of passive recall of song titles and the FOK scores were not effective predictors when it did occur.