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Abstract or Description

Examination of numerous past results, such as word frequency effects, suggests that there might be an influence of stimulus familiarity on the ability to form associations with that stimulus. Specifically, that familiarity facilitates association formation. However, to date there has been no direct experimental evidence of this effect. To demonstrate familiarity facilitation, as well as to examine other variables thought to modulate the effect of familiarity facilitation, two experiments were conducted. Evidence in favor of familiarity facilitation, modulated by stimulus complexity and amount/quality of prior exposure, was found. Additionally, it is noted that this behavior appears to resemble that of an autoencoder network, suggesting that autoencoder-like processing might be in part the source of these effects. Application of these results is also briefly discussed.


Advisor: Lynne Reder

Department of Psychology

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