Autobiographical Thinking Interferes with Episodic Memory Consolidation

Craig, Michael, Della Sala, Sergio and Dewar, Michaela (2014) Autobiographical Thinking Interferes with Episodic Memory Consolidation. PLoS ONE, 9 (4). e93915. ISSN 1932-6203

[img]
Preview
Text
journal.pone.0093915.PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (434kB) | Preview
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093915

Abstract

New episodic memories are retained better if learning is followed by a few minutes of wakeful rest than by the encoding of novel external information. Novel encoding is said to interfere with the consolidation of recently acquired episodic memories. Here we report four experiments in which we examined whether autobiographical thinking, i.e. an ‘internal’ memory activity, also interferes with episodic memory consolidation. Participants were presented with three wordlists consisting of common nouns; one list was followed by wakeful rest, one by novel picture encoding and one by autobiographical retrieval/future imagination, cued by concrete sounds. Both novel encoding and autobiographical retrieval/future imagination lowered wordlist retention significantly. Follow-up experiments demonstrated that the interference by our cued autobiographical retrieval/future imagination delay condition could not be accounted for by the sound cues alone or by executive retrieval processes. Moreover, our results demonstrated evidence of a temporal gradient of interference across experiments. Thus, we propose that rich autobiographical retrieval/future imagination hampers the consolidation of recently acquired episodic memories and that such interference is particularly likely in the presence of external concrete cues.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2020 10:15
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2020 10:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/43764

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics