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Mental reinstatement of encoding context improves episodic remembering

Bramao, Ines LU ; Karlsson, Anna and Johansson, Mikael LU (2017) In Cortex 94. p.15-26
Abstract
This study investigates context-dependent memory retrieval. Previous work has shown that physically re-experiencing the encoding context at retrieval improves memory accessibility. The current study examined if mental reconstruction of the original encoding context would yield parallel memory benefits. Participants performed a cued-recall memory task, preceded either by a mental or by a physical context reinstatement task, and we manipulated whether the context reinstated at retrieval overlapped with the context of the target episode. Both behavioral and electrophysiological measures of brain activity showed strong encoding-retrieval (E-R) overlap effects, with facilitated episodic retrieval when the encoding and retrieval contexts... (More)
This study investigates context-dependent memory retrieval. Previous work has shown that physically re-experiencing the encoding context at retrieval improves memory accessibility. The current study examined if mental reconstruction of the original encoding context would yield parallel memory benefits. Participants performed a cued-recall memory task, preceded either by a mental or by a physical context reinstatement task, and we manipulated whether the context reinstated at retrieval overlapped with the context of the target episode. Both behavioral and electrophysiological measures of brain activity showed strong encoding-retrieval (E-R) overlap effects, with facilitated episodic retrieval when the encoding and retrieval contexts overlapped. The electrophysiological E-R overlap effect was more sustained and involved more posterior regions when context was mentally compared with physically reinstated. Additionally, a time-frequency analysis revealed that context reinstatement alone engenders recollection of the target episode. However, while recollection of the target memory is readily prompted by a physical reinstatement, target recollection during mental reinstatement is delayed and depends on the gradual reconstruction of the context. Taken together, our results show facilitated episodic remembering also when mentally reinstating the encoding context; and that such benefits are supported by both shared and partially non-overlapping neural mechanisms when the encoding context is mentally reconstructed as compared with physically presented at the time of retrieval. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
episodic memory, encoding-retrieval overlap, context reinstatement, mental imagery, electrophysiological recordings
in
Cortex
volume
94
pages
15 - 26
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85022324690
ISSN
0010-9452
DOI
10.1016/j.cortex.2017.06.007
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
bffcdb6f-77eb-4043-801e-d28bd35ee593
date added to LUP
2017-06-14 16:08:07
date last changed
2017-07-30 05:26:31
@article{bffcdb6f-77eb-4043-801e-d28bd35ee593,
  abstract     = {This study investigates context-dependent memory retrieval. Previous work has shown that physically re-experiencing the encoding context at retrieval improves memory accessibility. The current study examined if mental reconstruction of the original encoding context would yield parallel memory benefits. Participants performed a cued-recall memory task, preceded either by a mental or by a physical context reinstatement task, and we manipulated whether the context reinstated at retrieval overlapped with the context of the target episode. Both behavioral and electrophysiological measures of brain activity showed strong encoding-retrieval (E-R) overlap effects, with facilitated episodic retrieval when the encoding and retrieval contexts overlapped. The electrophysiological E-R overlap effect was more sustained and involved more posterior regions when context was mentally compared with physically reinstated. Additionally, a time-frequency analysis revealed that context reinstatement alone engenders recollection of the target episode. However, while recollection of the target memory is readily prompted by a physical reinstatement, target recollection during mental reinstatement is delayed and depends on the gradual reconstruction of the context. Taken together, our results show facilitated episodic remembering also when mentally reinstating the encoding context; and that such benefits are supported by both shared and partially non-overlapping neural mechanisms when the encoding context is mentally reconstructed as compared with physically presented at the time of retrieval.},
  author       = {Bramao, Ines and Karlsson, Anna and Johansson, Mikael},
  issn         = {0010-9452},
  keyword      = {episodic memory,encoding-retrieval overlap,context reinstatement,mental imagery,electrophysiological recordings},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {15--26},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Cortex},
  title        = {Mental reinstatement of encoding context improves episodic remembering},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2017.06.007},
  volume       = {94},
  year         = {2017},
}