Date of Award

8-28-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Buchanan, Lori

Keywords

Episodic memory, Explicit memory, Implicit memory, Recognition memory, Semantic memory, Semantic neighbourhood density

Rights

CC-BY-NC-ND

Abstract

Semantic and episodic memory have been traditionally conceptualized as distinct memory systems (Tulving, 1972). Recent research emphasizes that these systems are interdependent, and many studies have found that semantic memory influences episodic memory (Graham et al., 2000; Greenberg & Verfaellie, 2010; Takashima et al., 2014). This dissertation expands this area of research by examining a question that had not been explored to date. The main objective was to examine the influence of semantic neighbourhood density on explicit and implicit episodic memory. Semantic neighbourhood density is a measure that captures the degree of semantic relationship between words in semantic memory (Buchanan et al., 2001). This variable has been shown to influence language processing, but it has not been studied in the context of episodic memory (Buchanan et al., 2001; Danguecan & Buchanan, 2016). Four experiments were designed to explore the effect of semantic neighbourhood density on a variety of episodic memory tasks. The results indicate that high semantic neighbourhood density facilitates both explicit and implicit episodic memory. These findings contribute to our current understanding about the influence of semantic factors on episodic memory for words.

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