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The notion of contextual locking: Previously learnt items are not accessible as such when appearing in a less common context

Perlman, A., Hoffman, Y., Tzelgov, J., Pothos, E. M. and Edwards, D. J. (2016). The notion of contextual locking: Previously learnt items are not accessible as such when appearing in a less common context. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(3), pp. 410-431. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2015.1054846

Abstract

We examined the effect of context on the learning of spatial coding in four experiments. Two partially overlapping sets of stimuli, which had the very same stimulus–response spatial coding, were presented in unique contexts. Results show contextual locking—that is, response times to the very same item in a more common context (80%) were significantly shorter than those in a less common context (20%). Contextual locking was obtained both when the context was more salient (Experiments 1 and 2) and less salient (Experiments 3 and 4). In addition, results were obtained even when contextualization seemed less necessary (Experiments 2 and 4). Binding of information to context is discussed in relation to chunking, transfer effects, and practical applications pertaining to professional training.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology on 3 July 2015, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17470218.2015.1054846
Publisher Keywords: Context, Memory, Implicit, Binding
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/13034
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