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Poster C1

Accurate predictions facilitate robust memory encoding separately from stimulus probability for schematic memory

Poster Session C - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Jiawen Huang1 (, Eleanor Furness1, Yifang Liu1, Morell-Jovan Kenmoe1, Ronak Elias1, Hannah Tongxin Zeng1, Christopher Baldassano1; 1Columbia University

We can use knowledge distilled from prior experiences (schemas) to make predictions about how an event will unfold, which can impact how event memories are encoded and later reconstructed. Existing paradigms for studying prediction, however, are largely unable to separate effects of prediction accuracy from effects of stimulus probability: likely outcomes are assumed to be predicted, while unlikely outcomes are assumed to cause prediction errors. Here we use a novel approach in which we can independently manipulate prediction success and stimulus probability, by using real-time eye-tracking when viewing moves in a board game. The moves can be consistent or inconsistent with a participant’s predictions (assessed via fixation patterns) and can be also be likely or unlikely to be played by a strategic player. By decorrelating these two measures, we found that both probability and prediction accuracy boost memory separately. Next, by looking at how consistent participants' eye movements were with the probability of the moves at retrieval, which is associated with making schema-based inference and less precise memory, we revealed separate mechanisms for memory benefit for predicted and probable moves. Accurately predicted moves were remembered more precisely, with participants exhibiting eye movements at retrieval that relied less on general schematic knowledge about move probabilities. On the other hand, probable moves were recalled less precisely, with more reliance on schematic eye-movement at retrieval. The results provides new insights on how schema-consistent information are better remembered, and challenge the idea that prediction errors can enhance event memories.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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April 13–16  |  2024