Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Sharon L. Thompson-Schill

Second Advisor

John C. Trueswell


Decades of research have demonstrated humans’ extraordinary ability to extract summary statistics across individual experiences. Less is known about how exactly the items contribute to the summary statistics and how the relationship between memory for the items and memory for the summary statistics evolves and changes over time. I propose that memory of summary statistics that are initially extracted from individual instances starts to guide memory for individual items over time, and not all items contribute to the summary statistics equally. Sources of item distinctiveness influence the summary statistics extraction in terms of the contribution of each item and the accuracy of summary statistics. The three empirical chapters enlighten our understanding of summary statistics extraction in long-term memory by bridging fields ranging from perception and memory to emotion and motivation.

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