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Pupil dilation tracks the dynamics of mnemonic interference resolution

Johansson, Roger LU ; Pärnamets, Philip LU ; Bjernestedt, Amanda LU and Johansson, Mikael LU (2018) In Scientific Reports 8.
Abstract
Mnemonic interference refers to the inability to retrieve a goal-relevant memory due to interference from goal-irrelevant memories. Understanding the causes of such interference and how it is overcome has been a central goal in the science of memory for more than a century. Here, we shed new light on this fundamental issue by tracking participants’ pupil response when they encode and retrieve memories in the face of competing goal-irrelevant memories. We show that pupil dilation systematically increased in accordance with interference from competing memory traces when participants retrieved previously learned information. Moreover, our results dissociate two main components in the pupillary response signal: an early component, which peaked... (More)
Mnemonic interference refers to the inability to retrieve a goal-relevant memory due to interference from goal-irrelevant memories. Understanding the causes of such interference and how it is overcome has been a central goal in the science of memory for more than a century. Here, we shed new light on this fundamental issue by tracking participants’ pupil response when they encode and retrieve memories in the face of competing goal-irrelevant memories. We show that pupil dilation systematically increased in accordance with interference from competing memory traces when participants retrieved previously learned information. Moreover, our results dissociate two main components in the pupillary response signal: an early component, which peaked in a time window where the pupillary waveform on average had its maximum peak, and a late component, which peaked towards the end of the retrieval task. We provide evidence that the early component is specifically modulated by the cognitive effort needed to handle interference from competing memory traces whereas the late component reflects general task engagement. This is the first demonstration that mnemonic interference resolution can be tracked online in the pupil signal and offers novel insight into the underlying dynamics. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Scientific Reports
volume
8
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • scopus:85044229334
ISSN
2045-2322
DOI
10.1038/s41598-018-23297-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9c77c093-ebbb-4018-a46c-cb49bad60568
date added to LUP
2018-03-08 22:37:14
date last changed
2018-06-21 03:00:08
@article{9c77c093-ebbb-4018-a46c-cb49bad60568,
  abstract     = {Mnemonic interference refers to the inability to retrieve a goal-relevant memory due to interference from goal-irrelevant memories. Understanding the causes of such interference and how it is overcome has been a central goal in the science of memory for more than a century. Here, we shed new light on this fundamental issue by tracking participants’ pupil response when they encode and retrieve memories in the face of competing goal-irrelevant memories. We show that pupil dilation systematically increased in accordance with interference from competing memory traces when participants retrieved previously learned information. Moreover, our results dissociate two main components in the pupillary response signal: an early component, which peaked in a time window where the pupillary waveform on average had its maximum peak, and a late component, which peaked towards the end of the retrieval task. We provide evidence that the early component is specifically modulated by the cognitive effort needed to handle interference from competing memory traces whereas the late component reflects general task engagement. This is the first demonstration that mnemonic interference resolution can be tracked online in the pupil signal and offers novel insight into the underlying dynamics.},
  articleno    = {4826},
  author       = {Johansson, Roger and Pärnamets, Philip and Bjernestedt, Amanda and Johansson, Mikael},
  issn         = {2045-2322},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Scientific Reports},
  title        = {Pupil dilation tracks the dynamics of mnemonic interference resolution},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-23297-3},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2018},
}