Bio: Branden Abushanab is an academic researcher from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The author has contributed to research in topics: Short-term memory & Working memory. The author has an hindex of 2, co-authored 2 publications receiving 78 citations.
TL;DR: The authors provide an up-to-date review of the twenty-first century research and theory on list-method directed forgetting (DF) and related phenomena like the context-change effect.
Abstract: The primary purpose of this chapter is to provide an up-to-date review of the twenty-first century research and theory on list-method directed forgetting (DF) and related phenomena like the context-change effect. Many researchers have assumed that DF is diagnostic of inhibition, but we argue for an alternative, noninhibitory account and suggest reinterpretation of earlier findings. We first describe what DF is and the state of the art with regard to measuring the effect. Then, we review recent evidence that brings DF into the family of effects that can be explained by global memory models. The process-based theory we advocate is that the DF impairment arises from mental context change and that the DF benefits emerge mainly but perhaps not exclusively from changes in encoding strategy. We review evidence (some new to this paper) that strongly suggests that DF arises from the engagement of controlled forgetting strategies that are independent of whether people believed the forget cue or not. Then we describe the vast body of literature supporting that forgetting strategies result in contextual change effects, as well as point out some inconsistencies in the DF literature that need to be addressed in future research. Next, we provide evidence—again, some of it new to this chapter—that the reason people show better memory after a forget cue is that they change encoding strategies. In addition to reviewing the basic research with healthy population, we reinterpret the evidence from the literature on certain clinical populations, providing a critique of the work done to date and outlining ways of improving the methodology for the study of DF in special populations. We conclude with a critical discussion of alternative approaches to understanding DF.
TL;DR: The findings indicate that low-WMC participants do not show the LSE, suggesting that they do not accumulate as much contextual information in the memory trace as the remaining participants do.
Abstract: Strengthening some items in a list of words impairs free recall of the remaining items in the list-a phenomenon known as the list-strength effect (LSE; e.g., Tulving & Hastie, 1972). Research indicates that whether the LSE is observed depends on the nature of the strengthening manipulation, and the effect is attributed to the enhancement of the contextual information in the memory trace of the items (e.g., Malmberg & Shiffrin, 2005). We investigated the magnitude of the LSE as a function of individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC). The findings indicate that low-WMC participants do not show the LSE, suggesting that they do not accumulate as much contextual information in the memory trace as the remaining participants do. These results suggest that the low-spans' deficits in utilizing contextual cues during retrieval (e.g., Spillers & Unsworth, 2011) could be partly linked to their deficits in encoding and storing contextual information. Implications for global theories of memory are discussed.
TL;DR: A neurobiological model of memory control can inform disordered control over memory and electrophysiological activity during motivated forgetting implicates active inhibition.
Abstract: Not all memories are equally welcome in awareness. People limit the time they spend thinking about unpleasant experiences, a process that begins during encoding, but that continues when cues later remind someone of the memory. Here, we review the emerging behavioural and neuroimaging evidence that suppressing awareness of an unwelcome memory, at encoding or retrieval, is achieved by inhibitory control processes mediated by the lateral prefrontal cortex. These mechanisms interact with neural structures that represent experiences in memory, disrupting traces that support retention. Thus, mechanisms engaged to regulate momentary awareness introduce lasting biases in which experiences remain accessible. We argue that theories of forgetting that neglect the motivated control of awareness omit a powerful force shaping the retention of our past.
TL;DR: The authors proposed a new model of free recall on the basis of M. Howard and M. J. McClelland's leaky-accumulator decision model, where recall decisions are controlled by a race between competitive leaky accumulators.
Abstract: The authors present a new model of free recall on the basis of M. W. Howard and M. J. Kahana's (2002a) temporal context model and M. Usher and J. L. McClelland's (2001) leaky-accumulator decision model. In this model, contextual drift gives rise to both short-term and long-term recency effects, and contextual retrieval gives rise to short-term and long-term contiguity effects. Recall decisions are controlled by a race between competitive leaky accumulators. The model captures the dynamics of immediate, delayed, and continual distractor free recall, demonstrating that dissociations between short- and long-term recency can naturally arise from a model in which an internal contextual state is used as the sole cue for retrieval across time scales.
TL;DR: The results suggest that saving provides a means to strategically off-load memory onto the environment in order to reduce the extent to which currently unneeded to-be-remembered information interferes with the learning and remembering of other information.
Abstract: With the continued integration of technology into people's lives, saving digital information has become an everyday facet of human behavior. In the present research, we examined the consequences of saving certain information on the ability to learn and remember other information. Results from three experiments showed that saving one file before studying a new file significantly improved memory for the contents of the new file. Notably, this effect was not observed when the saving process was deemed unreliable or when the contents of the to-be-saved file were not substantial enough to interfere with memory for the new file. These results suggest that saving provides a means to strategically off-load memory onto the environment in order to reduce the extent to which currently unneeded to-be-remembered information interferes with the learning and remembering of other information.
TL;DR: A core discovery concerns the role of the prefrontal cortex in exerting top-down control over mnemonic activity in the hippocampus and other brain structures, often via inhibitory control.
Abstract: Over the past century, psychologists have discussed whether forgetting might arise from active mechanisms that promote memory loss to achieve various functions, such as minimizing errors, facilitating learning, or regulating one's emotional state. The past decade has witnessed a great expansion in knowledge about the brain mechanisms underlying active forgetting in its varying forms. A core discovery concerns the role of the prefrontal cortex in exerting top-down control over mnemonic activity in the hippocampus and other brain structures, often via inhibitory control. New findings reveal that such processes not only induce forgetting of specific memories but also can suppress the operation of mnemonic processes more broadly, triggering windows of anterograde and retrograde amnesia in healthy people. Recent work extends active forgetting to nonhuman animals, presaging the development of a multilevel mechanistic account that spans the cognitive, systems, network, and even cellular levels. This work reveals how organisms adapt their memories to their cognitive and emotional goals and has implications for understanding vulnerability to psychiatric disorders.
TL;DR: A quantitative review of the literature showed that testing reliably potentiates the future learning of new materials by increasing correct recall or by reducing erroneous intrusions, and several factors have a powerful impact on whether testing potentiates or impairs new learning.
Abstract: A growing body of research has shown that retrieval can enhance future learning of new materials. In the present report, we provide a comprehensive review of the literature on this finding, which we term test-potentiated new learning. Our primary objectives were to (a) produce an integrative review of the existing theoretical explanations, (b) summarize the extant empirical data with a meta-analysis, (c) evaluate the existing accounts with the meta-analytic results, and (d) highlight areas that deserve further investigations. Here, we identified four nonexclusive classes of theoretical accounts, including resource accounts, metacognitive accounts, context accounts, and integration accounts. Our quantitative review of the literature showed that testing reliably potentiates the future learning of new materials by increasing correct recall or by reducing erroneous intrusions, and several factors have a powerful impact on whether testing potentiates or impairs new learning. Results of a metaregression analysis provide considerable support for the integration account. Lastly, we discuss areas of under-investigation and possible directions for future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).