The effects of linguistic relationships among paired associates on verbal self-generation and recognition memory

Authors

  • Miriam Siegel,

    Corresponding author
    • Departments of Neurology and Environmental Health (Division of Public Health), University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jane B. Allendorfer,

    1. Department of Neurology, University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Christopher J. Lindsell,

    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jennifer Vannest,

    1. Divisions of Neurology and Pediatric Neuroimaging Research Consortium, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jerzy P. Szaflarski

    1. Departments of Neurology, Psychology, and the Center for Imaging Research, University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center; and Pediatric Neuroimaging Research Consortium, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
    Search for more papers by this author

  • This study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH R01 NS048281) to J. P. S.

Correspondence

Miriam Siegel, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Department of Environmental Health (Division of Public Health), Kettering Lab, 3223 Eden Ave., Rm. 112, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056. Tel: (513) 558-2737; Fax: (513) 558-0925; E-mail: siegelmr@mail.uc.edu

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that self-generated information is better remembered than information that has been read passively. To further examine this subsequent memory effect, we investigated the effect of five different linguistic relationships on memory encoding. Ninety subjects were administered 60 paired associates during an encoding condition: 30 of the second words from each pair were to be read aloud and 30 were to be self-generated from clues as to the correct word. Word pairs were composed of five linguistic relationships: category, rhyme, opposite, synonym, and association. Subsequently, subjects were presented with the words that were read or generated in a forced recognition memory task. Overall, reading accuracy was higher than generation accuracy during the encoding phase (all P < 0.001). During the recognition phase, subjects' performance was better on the generate than on the read conditions for opposite, synonym, category, and association relationships (all P < 0.05), with no difference in the rhyme relationship. These results confirm previous findings that self-generated information is better remembered than read information and suggest that this advantage may be mediated by using opposite, synonym, category, and association relationships, while rhyme relationship may not extend such an advantage. These findings may have implications for future studies of memory interventions in healthy controls and subjects with cognitive impairments.

Ancillary