Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Memory of a complex event includes a multitude of features (e.g., objects, people, and actions) as well as the overall context (e.g., going to a picnic). To recall a complex event you must bind together these features and context into an episodic memory representation. This process of binding creates the subjective experience that certain details belong together. In two experiments, I examined whether particular types of information are bound together (object-to-object, object-to-context) within a memory representation of a scene and how attention may influence this process. Participants viewed a series of scenes and their attention was drawn to some objects (focus of attention), but not others. At test, they attempted to identify previously seen objects that were cued by objects-only, context-only, or a blurred context. Exp. 1 provided evidence of object-to-object binding when the objects used as cues and targets had been in the focus of attention at encoding. Exp. 2 revealed evidence of object-to-context binding, in that context cues enhanced memory for target objects whether or not the objects had been in the focus of attention at encoding. Altogether, these studies demonstrate the importance of attentional deployment in determining which components of an episodic memory will bind together.
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Martin, Stephanie L., "Memory for elements of a complex scene : binding and the influence of attention" (2013). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 497.