Encoding processes and memory organization: a model of the von Restorff effect.

  title={Encoding processes and memory organization: a model of the von Restorff effect.},
  author={Monica Fabiani and Emanuel Donchin},
  journal={Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition},
  volume={21 1},
  • M. Fabiani, E. Donchin
  • Published 1995
  • Psychology
  • Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition
The mechanisms underlying the improved recall of isolated events (von Restorff effect) were investigated. Participants studied lists of stimuli containing a physical and a semantic isolate while performing a physical task or a lexical decision task. The physical-task group showed a physical but not a semantic isolation effect (IE) in free recall, whereas the lexical-decision group displayed both types of IEs. The recall of the isolates was independent of that of the other words, and isolates… 


A classic finding in the memory literature is that participants remember items that are isolated, distinctive, or salient compared to items lacking in these characteristics. This finding is usually

Dissociations in the Processing of What and Where Information in Working Memory: An Event-Related Potential Analysis

Evidence is provided that encoding and rehearsal of object and spatial information in working memory are subserved by functionally and anatomically different subsystems.

The component structure of ERP subsequent memory effects in the Von Restorff paradigm and the word frequency effect in recall.

ERP components elicited by items that are isolated from their context, either by their font size or by their frequency of usage, are correlated with subsequent immediate recall, supporting a role of distinctiveness in word frequency effects in recall.

Metamemory or just Memory? Searching for the Neural Correlates of Judgments of Learning

The evidence collected in this series of ERP experiments suggests that JOLs are not pure products of objective memory processes, but are supported by neural systems that are at least partly distinct from those supporting successful memory encoding.

Revisiting von Restorff’s early isolation effect

The results suggest that number/word stimulus contrasts are coded automatically and support an isolation effect independent of list position, however, conceptual contrasts require relational processing and will only support an early isolation effect when such processing occurs.

ERP Subsequent Memory Effects Differ between Inter-Item and Unitization Encoding Tasks

The results provide evidence for a partial dissociation of the eliciting conditions of the two types of SMEs and therefore provide a tool for future studies to characterize the different types of episodic encoding.

The Relation of ERP Components to Complex Memory Processing

Results suggest that anterior and posterior distributional differences are elicited during encoding of words for rote and elaborative memory tasks and may index different word feature selection and encoding processes, which are differentially utilized by high and low recallers.

A Buffer Model Account of Behavioral and ERP Patterns in the Von Restorff Paradigm

We combined a mechanistic model of episodic encoding with theories on the functional significance of two event-related potential (ERP) components to develop an integrated account for the Von Restorff

Distinctive items are salient during encoding: Delayed judgements of learning predict the isolation effect

Results from these studies suggest that isolated items become salient over the course of the study episode, and that this salience predicts the isolation effect in memory.



Memory with and without awareness: performance and electrophysiological evidence of savings.

Event-related potentials recorded on the scalp were shown to be sensitive indicators of the strength of a memory trace on both implicit and explicit tests of memory, suggesting that they were influenced by the episodic memory strength of the items.

P300 and recall in an incidental memory paradigm.

The results confirm the hypothesis: when elaborative rehearsal strategies are not used, the relationship between P300 and memory emerges more consistently and provide support for a “context updating’ hypothesis of the functional significance of the P300.

The Isolation Effect in Free Recall and Recognition

Since 1933, when von Restorff first reported systematic research on the isolation effect, a continuous flow of publications has been devoted to this phenomenon (for a review, see Wallace, 1965). A

Effects of mnemonic strategy manipulation in a Von Restorff paradigm.

The many facets of repetition: a cued-recall and event-related potential analysis of repeating words in same versus different sentence contexts.

  • M. BessonM. Kutas
  • Psychology
    Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition
  • 1993
Large repetition effects were found for all words repeated in their original contexts; in contrast, changing contexts led to no repetition effects whether the meaning of the repeated words was preserved or not.

Is the P300 component a manifestation of context updating?

Abstract To understand the endogenous components of the event-related brain potential (ERP), we must use data about the components' antecedent conditions to form hypotheses about the

Novelty monitoring, metacognition, and control in a composite holographic associative recall model: implications for Korsakoff amnesia.

Eight lines of experimental evidence converge on the idea that output from such a novelty-familiarity monitor underlies people's metacognitive judgments of feeling of knowing and the failure to release from proactive inhibition is attributed to a monitoring-control failure rather than to deficits in the basic memory system.

Encoding and retrieval processes in the memory for conceptually distinctive events.

  • S. R. Schmidt
  • Psychology
    Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition
  • 1985
Memory for conceptually isolated (distinctive) words was investigated and results fail to support the hypothesis that distinctive information receives extra resources during encoding at the expense of surrounding background information.