Dynamics of context-dependent recall: An examination of internal and external context change

Nash Unsworth, Gregory J. Spillers, Gene Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Retrieval dynamics in context-dependent recall were explored via manipulations of external and internal context in two experiments. Participants were tested in either the same or different context as the material was learned in and correct recalls, errors, and recall latency measures were examined. In both experiments changes in context resulted in fewer correct items being recalled than when context remained the same. However, the context change manipulation did not affect the number or type of recall errors or recall latency in either experiment. These results are consistent with the notion that changes in context result in a reduction in the associative strengths of items because there are fewer overlapping contextual features between encoded features and features present at test. Other potential mechanisms of context-dependent recall effects are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Context-dependent memory
  • Recall dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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