Memory and learning for a novel written style.

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Subjects read and recalled a series of five short stories in one of four plot and style combinations. The stories were written in one of two styles that consisted of opposing clause orders (i.e., independent-dependent vs. dependent-independent), tense forms (i.e., past vs. present), and descriptor forms (modifier modifier vs. modifier as a noun). The subjects incorporated both plot and style characteristics into their recalls. Other subjects, who, after five recalls, either generated a new story or listed the rules that had been followed by the stories read, included the marked forms of the characteristics they learned more often, except for tense. The subjects read and recalled four stories of the same plot and style and then read and recalled a fifth story of the same plot and style or of one of the other three plot/style combinations. Ability to switch style depended on both the characteristic and the markedness.







David C. Rubin

Juanita M. Kreps Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

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My main research interest has been in long-term memory, especially for complex (or "real-world") stimuli. This work includes the study of autobiographical memory and oral traditions, as well as prose. I have also studied memory as it is more commonly done in experimental psychology laboratories using lists. In addition to this purely behavioral research, which I plan to continue, I work on memory in clinical populations with the aid of a National Institute of Mental Health grant to study PTSD and on the underlying neural basis of memory the aid of a National Institute of Aging grant to study autobiographical memory using fMRI.

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