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Poster C37 - Sketchpad Series

Can one emotional memory inhibit another? Investigating neural recapitulation patterns related to valence-dependent retrieval-induced forgetting

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

Julia M. Brau1 (, Leonard Faul1, Maureen Ritchey1, Elizabeth A. Kensinger1; 1Boston College

This work will contribute to an understanding of how positive and negative content is represented in memory, by examining whether retrieval of one valence of emotional information can inhibit retrieval of another. Retrieval induced forgetting (RIF) describes how retrieving a subset of items from a greater list can lead to the forgetting of other items within that list. It remains unclear whether an RIF-like pattern occurs across valences, such that selective retrieval of one valence of information may induce forgetting of differently-valenced content. The current work will utilize an adapted RIF paradigm in which participants study a series of categorized lists and then have retrieval practice for only negative, only positive, or only neutral words from a particular category (or have no retrieval practice, in a control condition). After a delay, participants will then be asked to retrieve all exemplars from the category. The key question is whether retrieval practice with one valence (e.g., negative) will lead to a reduction in later recall of differently-valenced (e.g., positive) content from the same category. Using fMRI, we will further examine the mechanisms leading to this effect, investigating how neural recapitulation during retrieval practice corresponds with recall on the subsequent recall task. By comparing to activity from the study phase, we can distinguish neural recapitulation of trial-unique content, valence-generalized content, and category-generalized content, thereby determining how recapitulation of each type during retrieval practice relates to RIF-type effects. Overall, this study will clarify how emotional memories of different valences are represented.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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April 13–16  |  2024