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UCD: Human Memory Lab » Behavioral Properties

Behavioral properties of recollection and familiarity

Recollection (i.e., the retrieval of qualitative information about a prior event) and familiarity (i.e., global memory strength) are separable recognition processes that exhibit distinct functional properties. For example, response speeding and dividing attention preferentially disrupt recollection, whereas fluency and response bias preferentially influence familiarity.

In addition, recollection leads to relatively linear Receiver Operating Characteristics (as seen in tests such as associative recognition), whereas familiarity produces curved symmetrical receiver operating characteristics (as seen in item recognition tests in amnesic patients).