Multisensory Processes

False memory has received a lot of attention in past few years, both in the memory community and in the popular circles. Various paradigms have been proposed by different scholars in an attempt to explain whether the level of processing normally affects the level of false recall and false recognition (Mar, 2007).  Deep processing normally enhances memory on the emblematic recognition tests, comparative to focusing on perceptual features. This is because deep processing normally leads to the encrypting of more unique representations, more unique conceptual and sematic features that can be recollected to distinguish the words. This re-collective uniqueness proposition normally predicts that deep processing essentially should reduce false recognition inaccuracies; this is because more unique recollections normally facilitate retrieval monitoring accuracy (Code, 1994).

Furthermore, additional support for the uniqueness propositions was that influence that is designed to discriminately enhance the uniqueness of the words in the superficial condition that normally eliminates the level of processing effect on the false recognition and false recall. These findings essentially imply that conceptual processing can eliminate the uniqueness heuristic and that the re-collective uniqueness normally pushes the levels of processing effects (Mar, 2007).

The level of processing normally refers to the discovery that the memory for a list of words is better when the meaning of the word is encoded, rather than concentrating on more superficial aspects of the word, such as its phonological, perceptual, and orthographic characteristics (Riding, 2000).  For instance, determining whether a particular word is pleasing essentially leads to better remembrance on a successive test compared to deciding whether the word contains a certain letter. The most common account of this effect is that deep processing normally activates a more significant knowledge as compared to the shallow processing; the activated information generally becomes linked with the words to form a more ostentatious memory trace. This processing framework inspired by this effect has a crucial impact on the cognitive psychology (Riding, 2000).

Conventionally, memory research has solely emphasized accurate remembering, but memory errors have also proved to be hugely informative about the on-going processes. A few years ago, there was an increased attentiveness to the occurrence of false memories. The most commonly used technique in investigating such inaccuracies has been the Deese/Roediger-McDermott paradigm that involves the presentation of a word list (Calvert, 2004). For instance, in an experiment paradigm that involved the presentation of a list of words that were all linked to a critical un-presented word, such as bed, pillow and night, that were all linked to sleep. All participants in the experiment were instructed to commit to memory the presented words for a later test, normally recognition and recall. Commonly, the false recognition and recall rates were fairly high for the un-presented critical enticements (Calvert, 2004).

Various interpretations have been hypothesized to account for the false memories in the DRM paradigm, such as the activation /monitoring approach. This methodology holds that false memories normally arise during the processing of the DRM word list either through involuntary activation of critical lures through spreading the semantic  activations or through voluntary activation of the critical lures through  elaborative process (Lahey, 2003). But, the main question remains to be how the word needs to be processed in order to elicit false memories. For the false memory to be elicited automatically through spreading activation, the exposure to the DRM word list need to be sufficient in order to create false memory (Lahey, 2003).

In an experiment using the DRM word list, participants were to encode the DRM list with a varying rate of presentation that is 2 seconds, 250 milliseconds, or 20 milliseconds per word. The correct recognition of the DRM word list essentially decreased to below 50 per cent at the rate of 20 milliseconds (Ross, 2012). False distresses to critical lures, nevertheless, remained to typically strong, irrespective of the rate of presentation. Therefore, false memory for critical lures essentially occurred even when the correct recognition of the word list was actually exceptionally poor (Ross, 2012).

Investigators have actually explored the effect of various processing influence on the occurrence of the false memories. The investigators have examined  the effects  of processing on false recall by making participants  either count vowels or rate concreteness as the DRM word list are being presented. Deeper processing has been found to produce impressive overall memory and elevated false remembrance for the critical lures. Nevertheless, there were still false memories following superficial processing (Ross, 2012). These results have been argued to be in accordance with the activation-based models of false memory, whereby deeper processing normally leads to the elevated activation of the critical lures. Furthermore, shallow encrypting has presumably been believed to leads to less activation and hence reduces the false memory (Johnston, 2009).

Another theoretically crucial issue is that a certain encoding influence normally leads to the reduction in the false memories through the metamemorial processes that occur during retrieval (Ohlsson, 2011). For example, various studies have indicated that slowing of presentation rates normally decreases the probability of false remembering (Johnston, 2009). From the encrypting viewpoint, these results are normally paradoxical; this is because relaxed presentation rates normally result into more activation of the critical items, thereby resulting in more false remembering (Sternberg, 2010) Furthermore, providing subjects with more time to encrypt the list items normally offers an essential opportunity for deep and meaningful processing of the items in the list. This has been found to enhance the false memory effect.

The fact that false remembering is normally reduced at slower presentation rates may occur because, at a slower rate, each list item could actually be processed more lengthily, thereby resulting into more item-specific information (Sternberg, 2010). During the retrieval, this particular additional information normally enhances the discriminability between those items that were initially presented and those that were not, hence resulting into more accurate reality monitoring and essentially less false remembering (Sternberg, 2010).

Various research has indicated that deep processing normally affects the false recall and recognition. In some instances, the effect of false recognition has been proved in many instances to be either small or not occur at all. For instance, in a research study in which synonyms were presented at numerous intervals along with unrelated lures, the false recognition effect was found to be only 3 per cent (Sternberg, 2010). Plaut and Shallice (1994) were unable to find credible false acknowledgment effects for semantically related lures in the comparable paradigm. In general, most studies on the false recognition effects in the list word listing have done remarkably little to dampen the belief that more comprehensible, natural items are required to exhibit authoritative false memory effects (Plaut, 1994).

Furthermore, a study has essentially revealed that false recognition and recall can occur without deep processing. This is because, the items specific and relational processing view hold that relational information in memory normally stems from the similarities between the study items, whereas memory for item specific information is generated from the processing of differences  among study items (Schaffer, 2006). According to numerous studies, relational processing normally boosts recognition of the study items. Furthermore, they have also argued that the raised item-specific processing may actually reduce relational processing because of the limited attention to the resources. Therefore, circumstances that normally promote the encrypting of distinctive, distinguishing information such as visual presentation normally reduces relational processing, thereby decreasing the false recognition (Schaffer, 2006).

Furthermore, other theories have postulated that the implicit activation of associates can essentially occur both during encoding and retrieval. However, it is explicit that the level or the strength of activation, which is normally the result of a particular encrypting task, normally does not have significant effects on the overall rate of the false recall and recognition (Rakison, 2005). This is normally achieved through the elaboration and strengthening of the associative network and its related concepts. In addition, other studies indicate that superficial levels of processing condition explicitly lead to an extraordinarily weak activation and, subsequently, a rather insufficient associative network. This is usually demonstrated by the remembrance of the fewer list items and other related items (Rakison, 2005).

In another study, it has been clearly found that false recall and distortion does not result from deep processing. False recognition and recall has also been attributed to individual inability to remember the desired information. This normally happens when an individual’s memory is distorted. Furthermore, recall that is based on monitoring normally helps in decision processes, in which the retrieval of numerous types of the information from a study is normally rejected as false. This usually happens to people who have suffered brain damage.


The present argument demonstrates that false memories can actually be relied upon to produce and provide support for the proposition that memory illusions are essentially the results of semantic activation (Lesgold, 1981). Furthermore, future studies may actually utilize the levels of activation background and other encoding tasks that further influence the level of activation in order to determine their effects on the concept of the memory illusions. On the contrary, deep processing has been found not to affect the rate of false recognition and recall, because memory is normally subjected to various kinds of errors and distortions (Lesgold, 1981).

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