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Poster E51

Exploring memory consolidation interference: The impact of different wakeful post-encoding activities on visual detail memory.

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Sandra Gawel1, Joanna Greer1, Colin Hamilton1, Michael Craig1; 1Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Post-encoding wakeful rest is beneficial for the retention of new memories, relative to task engagement. This can be explained by a consolidation account: rest is thought to provide optimal conditions for stabilising fragile new memories by reducing interference associated with task engagement, for example, encoding and sustained attention. However, the contribution of these factors to consolidation remains poorly understood. To examine this, a mnemonic discrimination paradigm, which is sensitive to rest effects in visual detail memory, was combined with an event segmentation paradigm that has been used to examine the effects of different mental activities on memory. Four hundred young adults (18-36 years old) were recruited for this online experiment. The procedure comprised the incidental encoding of photos of everyday items, a 7-minute delay condition, and a mnemonic discrimination test to probe detail memory for the encoded photos. Crucially, participants were allocated randomly to one of four groups (each n = 100), which determined their delay condition activity: (a) wakeful rest or watching a video of an everyday experience while completing (b) encoding, (c) attention, or (d) event segmentation (encoding + attention) tasks. Contrary to expected outcomes: (i) no benefit of rest was observed in detail memory, relative to task engagement, and (ii) detail memory was superior following event segmentation than rest and attention conditions. These outcomes tentatively suggest a state of attention and encoding may benefit consolidation, possibly due to the novelty of this condition encouraging consolidation, and demonstrate a need for further work exploring the determinants of consolidation.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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April 13–16  |  2024