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Handbook of Binding and MemoryPerspectives from Cognitive Neuroscience$
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Hubert Zimmer, Axel Mecklinger, and Ulman Lindenberger

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198529675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198529675.001.0001

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Part or parcel? Contextual binding of events in episodic memory

Part or parcel? Contextual binding of events in episodic memory

(p.52) (p.53) Chapter 3 Part or parcel? Contextual binding of events in episodic memory
Handbook of Binding and Memory

Iris Trinkler

John A. King

Hugo J. Spiers

Neil Burgess

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines whether events are the units of episodic memory. It investigates the binding of the context of an event with the event's content in episodic memory using a computer-based virtual reality (VR) paradigm involving pseudo-realistic simulated events. In a chain of pseudo-realistic events which consist of the same element categories throughout, each event appears to be encoded in terms of independent pairwise associations between its elements. There was no evidence of a more holistic encoding in which all elements are associated together. On the contrary, performance on remembering the content of an event via one element of its context appeared to be independent of performance in remembering it via a second element. This finding argues against the idea that whole events are the units of episodic memory and are necessarily re-experienced in all their detail at retrieval.

Keywords:   episodic memory, binding, events, remembering

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