Royal Society Publishing


Ecphory is a process by which retrieval information provided by a cue is correlated with the information stored in an episodic memory trace, thus providing the basis for the subjective experience of remembering and the corresponding memory performance. Particularly relevant to the study of ecphoric processes are experiments in which the material that is to be remembered is held nominally constant and in which both encoding conditions and retrieval conditions are systematically varied. The results of such experiments have imposed certain constraints on theories of retrieval and have led to the revision of several previously popular theoretical ideas. Some illustrative experimental data are described, and one version of a theoretical schema of retrieval is summarized. The schema holds that what a person remembers is a product of a synergistic interaction between the memory trace and the retrieval information, the nature and particular features of the recollective experience being determined by the properties of both the trace and the cue.

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