Memory and Cognition Name seven words: Demonstrating the effects of knowledge on rate of retrieval. Jacqueline E.Muir-Broaddus Coming to terms with the keyword method in introductory psychology: A “neuromnemonic” example
The relation between domain-specific knowledge and memory is commonly addressed in introductory psychology, cognition, and cognitive development courses. One aspect of this relation is that knowledge enhances the speed with which one processes information (Roth, 1983). Cognitive psychologists typically conceptualize the effect of knowledge on retrieval using modified network models of semantic memory (Bjorklund, Muir-Broaddus, & Schneider, 1990; Schneider & Bjorklund, 1997). According to this view, features of concepts are represented as a network of interconnected “nodes” that are accessed through spreading activation (Collins & Loftus, 1975). Associative priming, which refers to the activation of related concepts in response to a cue, is often interpreted as behavioral evidence of spreading activation (Meyer & Schvaneveldt, 1971). For example, for most people, the cue music activates concepts such as note, song, and band, before, and more quickly than, unrelated concepts such as plant or banana. As expertise increases, representations of domain-specific concepts become increasingly elaborated, organized, and interconnected, thereby enhancing the automaticity with which these concepts and their associative relations are activated in response to a cue (Bjorklund et al., 1990).