Associating Unseen Events: Semantically Mediated Formation of Episodic Associations (2005)
In prior work, we developed a computational model of how episodic associations between words are formed. Simulating associative learning, the model indicated that strongly associated semantically unrelated words facilitate the episodic association of other exemplars included in their semantic neighborhoods. This prediction was supported empirically by the present study. First, the incidental formation of strong associations between unrelated words, such as dog and table, improved cued recall of weak associations formed incidentally between semantic neighbors, like cat and chair. Second, deciding that two words were semantically unrelated was facilitated by forming strong associations between other words in their respective semantic neighborhoods, even if the tested pair was not presented at study. Together with the computational model, the present results demonstrate that forming episodic associations between words can implicitly mediate the association of other exemplars from the same semantic categories and reveal a mechanism by which the semantic system contributes to the formation of new episodic associations.
Psychological Science, 16:161-166, 2005.

Shlomo Bentin Former Collaborator shlomo bentin [at] huji ac il
Risto Miikkulainen Faculty risto [at] cs utexas edu
Yaron Silberman Ph.D. Alumni yarons [at] alice nc huji ac il