Revisiting the Memory-Based Processing Approach to Common Ground

William S. Horton*, Richard J. Gerrig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Horton and Gerrig (2005a) outlined a memory-based processing model of conversational common ground that provided a description of how speakers could both strategically and automatically gain access to information about others through domain-general memory processes acting over ordinary memory traces. In this article, we revisit this account, reviewing empirical findings that address aspects of this memory-based model. In doing so, we also take the opportunity to clarify what we believe this approach implies about the cognitive psychology of common ground, and just as important, what it does not imply. We also highlight related areas of research demonstrating how general cognitive processes can constrain access to relevant knowledge in ways that shape both language production and comprehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-795
Number of pages16
JournalTopics in Cognitive Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Audience design
  • Common ground
  • Conversation
  • Episodic memory
  • Memory-based processing
  • Resonance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


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