What is this type of recall?
June 14, 2013 1:57 PM   Subscribe

What is the technical term for this type of recall? A student (possibly with ADD) plays a puzzle game while listening to a class (there's no relationship between the puzzle game and the content of the class). Later, while relaxing at home, he plays the game again and by doing that recalls the content of the class.
posted by fries to Science & Nature (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Kinesthetic (or tactile) learning.
posted by travelwithcats at 1:59 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh man. This is the kind of memory I have. I had no idea it was A Thing. Watching this thread with interest.

For what it's worth, I do not have ADD. I don't know if that's a requirement for the term you're looking for, but it definitely exists outside of ADD folks.
posted by phunniemee at 2:06 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

AGWHAGWH is right on. Godden and Baddely (1975) is the seminal paper.

So if you're going to study while drunk, make sure you're also drunk for the test. Same for being high. Or underwater.
posted by supercres at 2:09 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you're interested in how context informs memory in general, and want to wade through a scientific paper on the subject, I recommend Howard and Kahana (2002, pdf) with the Temporal Context Model. It's also discussed in more approachable terms in Kahana's recent monograph. (Disclosure: I work in Kahana's lab, but don't personally benefit by recommending either.)
posted by supercres at 2:14 PM on June 14, 2013

Oh wow, didn't know this was a thing either. I also do not have ADD. They are not related.

I remember places, topics and many other things but also remember what I was doing/listening to at the time the knowledge seated itself in my brain.
posted by squirbel at 3:01 PM on June 14, 2013

Context-dependent memory.

Yep. I learned this from Archer.

(Also, FWIW, I do have ADD and was pretty sure context-dependent memory was a totally made-up thing that doesn't really work in real life, on par with curing amnesia with a frying pan to the head.)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:08 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

This used to be called state-dependent retrieval.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 3:42 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

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