Poster F69, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
The effects of selective retrieval and selective suppression on spatial memory
Taylor R. Russo1, Jessica M. Karanian2, Brittany M. Jeye1, Scott D. Slotnick1; 1Boston College, 2Wesleyan University
In the standard think–no think paradigm, items are presented in pairs during Phase 1. During Phase 2, participants are shown the first item (i.e., a cue) from some of the pairs and are instructed to either remember (think of) or suppress (not think of) the associated item. Some cues are not presented and serve as a baseline measure of memory performance. To our knowledge, no study has assessed whether retrieval or suppression can enhance or impair memory for contextual information, such as spatial location. In Phase 1 of the present paradigm (N = 36 participants), abstract shapes were presented to the left or right of fixation. In Phase 2, two thirds of the shapes from Phase 1 were presented at fixation and participants were instructed to either remember or suppress the spatial location of each shape immediately after it was presented. In Phase 3, all of the shapes were presented at fixation and participants identified whether each shape was previously to the “left” or “right” of fixation. Based on previous associative memory results, we hypothesized that retrieval of spatial location would enhance memory performance and suppression of spatial location would impair memory performance, as compared to the control condition. However, we failed to find an effect of retrieval or suppression on memory for spatial location. The present results suggest that contextual information may be resistant to retrieval or suppression effects. We are currently investigating whether or not retrieval or suppression effects occur for the internal item feature of color.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic