Retrieval of information from long-term memory

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  01 Apr 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4592, pp. 25-30
DOI: 10.1126/science.6828877


Information is represented in long-term memory as a network of associations among concepts. Information is retrieved by spreading activation from concepts in working memory through the network structure. The time required to retrieve information is a function of the level of activation that it achieves. Fanning of multiple paths from a node dissipates the activation the node sends down any path and increases retrieval time. Fan effects are reduced as subjects overlearn the material or when they can change their task from a recognition judgment to a consistency judgment.