The response dynamics of recognition memory: Sensitivity and bias

Gregory J. Koop, Amy H. Criss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Advances in theories of memory are hampered by insufficient metrics for measuring memory. The goal of this paper is to further the development of model-independent, sensitive empirical measures of the recognition decision process. We evaluate whether metrics from continuous mouse tracking, or response dynamics, uniquely identify response bias and mnemonic evidence, and demonstrate 1 application of these metrics to the strength-based mirror-effect paradigm. In 4 studies, we show that response dynamics can augment our current analytic repertoire in a way that speaks to the psychological mechanisms underlying recognition memory. We manipulated familiarity and response bias via encoding strength and the proportion of targets at test (Experiment 1) and found that the initial degree of deviation of the mouse movement toward a response is a robust indicator of response bias. In order to better isolate measures of memory strength, we next minimized response bias through the use of 2-alternative forced-choice tests (Experiments 2 and 3). Changes in the direction of movement along the x-axis provided an indication of encoding strength. We conclude by applying these metrics to the typical strength-based mirror effect design (Experiment 4) in an attempt to further discriminate between differentiation and criterion-shift accounts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-685
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Criterion-shifts
  • Differentiation
  • Mousetracking
  • Recognition memory
  • Strength-based mirror effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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