Context noise and item noise jointly determine recognition memory: A comment on Dennis and Humphreys (2001)

Amy Criss, Richard M. Shiffrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations


S. Dennis and M. S. Humphreys (2001) proposed a model with the strict assumption that recognition memory is not affected by interference from other items. Instead, confusions are due to noise generated by prior contexts in which the test item appeared. This model seems disparate from existing models of recognition memory but is similar in many ways that are not superficially obvious. One difference is the order in which item and context information are used as retrieval cues. A more critical difference is the assertion that only an item's history, and not other items, affects recognition memory. Conceptual arguments along with the results of 2 experiments make a persuasive case that both types of noise affect recognition. To illustrate the approach, the authors fit experimental data with a version of the retrieving effectively from memory model (R. M. Shiffrin & M. Steyvers, 1997) incorporating both sources of noise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)800-807
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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