The levels-of-processing effect, identified by Fergus I. M. Craik and Robert S. Lockhart in 1972, describes memory recall of stimuli as a function of the depth of mental processing. Depth of processing falls on a shallow to deep continuum. Shallow processing (e.g., processing based on phonemic and orthographic components) leads to a fragile memory trace that is susceptible to rapid decay. Conversely, deep processing (e.g., semantic processing) results in a more durable memory trace. This theory contradicts the multi-store Atkinson-Shiffrin memory model in its representation of memory strength as continuously variable.
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... In autistic patients, levels-of-processing effects are reversed in that semantically presented stimuli have a lower recall value than physically presented stimuli ...
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