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Intentional suppression can lead to a reduction of memory strength: Behavioral and electrophysiological findings

Waldhauser, Gerd LU ; Lindgren, Magnus LU and Johansson, Mikael LU (2012) In Frontiers in Psychology 3.
Abstract (Swedish)
Abstract in Undetermined

Previous research has shown that the intentional suppression of unwanted memories can lead to forgetting in later memory tests. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. This study employed recognition memory testing and event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate whether intentional suppression leads to the inhibition of memory representations at an item level. In a think/no-think experiment, participants were cued to either suppress (no-think condition) or retrieve (think condition) previously learned words, 18 or 0 times. Performance in a final recognition test was significantly reduced for repeatedly suppressed no-think items when compared to the baseline, zero-repetition... (More)
Abstract in Undetermined

Previous research has shown that the intentional suppression of unwanted memories can lead to forgetting in later memory tests. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. This study employed recognition memory testing and event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate whether intentional suppression leads to the inhibition of memory representations at an item level. In a think/no-think experiment, participants were cued to either suppress (no-think condition) or retrieve (think condition) previously learned words, 18 or 0 times. Performance in a final recognition test was significantly reduced for repeatedly suppressed no-think items when compared to the baseline, zero-repetition condition. ERPs recorded during the suppression of no-think items were significantly more negative-going in a time window around 300 ms when compared to ERPs in the think condition. This reduction correlated with later recognition memory impairment. Furthermore, ERPs to no-think items from 225 to 450 ms were more negative-going in later phases of the experiment, suggesting a gradual reduction of memory strength with repeated suppression attempts. These effects were dissociable from correlates of recollection (500-600 ms) and inhibitory control (450-500 ms) that did not vary over the time-course of the experiment and appeared to be under strategic control. Our results give strong evidence that the no-think manipulation involves inhibition of memory representations at an item level. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Inhibition, memory suppression, recognition memory, think/no-think, event-related potentials
in
Frontiers in Psychology
volume
3
publisher
Frontiers
external identifiers
  • scopus:84870945876
ISSN
1664-1078
DOI
10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00401
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e8bc2005-6b57-46aa-ac9a-0cf4248ba0d6 (old id 3119346)
alternative location
http://www.frontiersin.org/cognition/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00401/abstract
date added to LUP
2012-10-30 16:11:18
date last changed
2017-01-29 03:51:32
@article{e8bc2005-6b57-46aa-ac9a-0cf4248ba0d6,
  abstract     = {<b>Abstract in Undetermined</b><br/><br>
Previous research has shown that the intentional suppression of unwanted memories can lead to forgetting in later memory tests. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. This study employed recognition memory testing and event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate whether intentional suppression leads to the inhibition of memory representations at an item level. In a think/no-think experiment, participants were cued to either suppress (no-think condition) or retrieve (think condition) previously learned words, 18 or 0 times. Performance in a final recognition test was significantly reduced for repeatedly suppressed no-think items when compared to the baseline, zero-repetition condition. ERPs recorded during the suppression of no-think items were significantly more negative-going in a time window around 300 ms when compared to ERPs in the think condition. This reduction correlated with later recognition memory impairment. Furthermore, ERPs to no-think items from 225 to 450 ms were more negative-going in later phases of the experiment, suggesting a gradual reduction of memory strength with repeated suppression attempts. These effects were dissociable from correlates of recollection (500-600 ms) and inhibitory control (450-500 ms) that did not vary over the time-course of the experiment and appeared to be under strategic control. Our results give strong evidence that the no-think manipulation involves inhibition of memory representations at an item level.},
  articleno    = {401},
  author       = {Waldhauser, Gerd and Lindgren, Magnus and Johansson, Mikael},
  issn         = {1664-1078},
  keyword      = {Inhibition,memory suppression,recognition memory,think/no-think,event-related potentials},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Frontiers},
  series       = {Frontiers in Psychology},
  title        = {Intentional suppression can lead to a reduction of memory strength: Behavioral and electrophysiological findings},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00401},
  volume       = {3},
  year         = {2012},
}