01/12/2021 Biology Medicine Psychology
DOI: 10.1177/17470218211014439 SemanticScholar ID: 233325039

The effect of value on long-term associative memory

Publication Summary

Items with high value are often remembered better than those with low value. It is not clear, however, whether this value effect extends to the binding of associative details (e.g., word colour) in episodic memory. Here, we explored whether value enhances memory for associative information in two different scenarios that might support a more effective process of binding between identity and colour. Experiment 1 examined incidental binding between item and colour using coloured images of familiar objects, whereas Experiment 2 examined intentional learning of word colour. In both experiments, increasing value led to improvements in memory for both item and colour, and these effects persisted after approximately 24 hr. Experiment 3a and Experiment 3b replicated the value effect on intentional word–colour memory from Experiment 2 while also demonstrating this effect to be less reliable when word colour is incidental to the encoding phase. Thus, value-directed prioritisation can facilitate episodic associative memory when conditions for binding are optimised through the use of appropriate to-be remembered materials and encoding conditions.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Richard Allen

Dr. Richard Allen

University of Leeds - Associate Professor

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