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Ashleigh Maxcey, Kimberly Halvorson, Geoffrey Woodman; Recognition-induced forgetting of objects is independent of remembering. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):953. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/15.12.953.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
What are the consequences of accessing a visual long-term memory representation? Previous work has shown that accessing long-term memories hurts memory for related items (i.e., recognition-induced forgetting, retrieval-induced forgetting) and improves memory for the targeted item (Anderson, Bjork, & Bjork, 1994; Maxcey & Woodman, 2014). Intuitively, these findings suggest that the suppression of related items in long-term memory facilitates the improved access of the targeted item, driven by the same visual memory mechanism. The goal of the present study is to determine whether these two outcomes are products of the same underlying visual memory mechanism or due to independent visual memory mechanisms. If remembering and forgetting in this paradigm are due to the same visual memory mechanism used to access a memory representation, then the magnitude of the memory benefit when remembering objects repeatedly will be directly related to the degree to which related items are forgotten. In contrast, if remembering and forgetting in this paradigm are due to different visual memory mechanisms that operate when accessing a memory representation, then remembering an item will be independent of the forgetting of related items. Here we used a parametric manipulation of the amount of practice each item received in the recognition-induced forgetting paradigm with visual objects. The results supported the independence hypothesis. Specifically, increased practice significantly strengthened memory for practiced items, but did not reliably effect recognition-induced forgetting. These results are inconsistent with competition-based accounts, which posit that strengthening associations should yield additional interference, and consistent with an inhibition-based account of the forgetting that occurs when accessing a memory representation (Anderson, 2003).
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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