Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 474–479 | Cite as

Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Austin: Enhanced oddball memory through differentiation, not isolation

  • Yasuaki Sakamoto
  • Bradley C. LoveEmail author


What makes a person, event, or object memorable? Enhanced memory for oddball items is long established, but the basis for these effects is not well understood. The present work clarifies the roles of isolation and differentiation in establishing new memories. According to the isolation account, items that are highly dissimilar to other items are better remembered. In contrast, recent category learning studies suggest that oddball items are better remembered because they must be differentiated from similar items. The present work pits the differentiation and isolation accounts against each other. The results suggest that differentiation, not isolation, leads to more accurate memory for deviant items. In contrast, gains for isolated items are attributable to reduced confusion with other items, as opposed to preferential storage.


Category Learning Corrective Feedback Exemplar Model Differentiation Account Novelty Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Texas at AustinAustin

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