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Poster D65

The effects of divided attention on long-term memory retrieval

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Nursima Unver1,2 (, Eren Günseli2; 1University of Toronto, 2Sabanci University

Previous studies observed an asymmetry between the effects of attention on long-term memory (LTM) encoding vs. retrieval. While divided attention has resulted in decrements in encoding to LTM, it has minimal or no effect on retrieval performance. Several theories have been proposed to explain this asymmetry, suggesting that retrieval is automatic or differences between tasks are used for retrieval. This study examined another possibility that tasks requiring more precise representations may be more susceptible to detrimental effects of divided attention by using the continuous report paradigm. Participants (N=19) learned 180 object-orientation associations and retrieved those orientations in either divided attention or full attention conditions. Mixture modeling fit on error distribution has shown that under DA condition, guess rate was higher while the standard deviation remain the same. These results suggest that dividing attention during retrieval reduces the accessibility of memoranda while the precision remains intact.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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April 13–16  |  2024