Document Detail

The benefit of forgetting.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23208769     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Recent research using change-detection tasks has shown that a directed-forgetting cue, indicating that a subset of the information stored in memory can be forgotten, significantly benefits the other information stored in visual working memory. How do these directed-forgetting cues aid the memory representations that are retained? We addressed this question in the present study by using a recall paradigm to measure the nature of the retained memory representations. Our results demonstrated that a directed-forgetting cue leads to higher-fidelity representations of the remaining items and a lower probability of dropping these representations from memory. Next, we showed that this is made possible by the to-be-forgotten item being expelled from visual working memory following the cue, allowing maintenance mechanisms to be focused on only the items that remain in visual working memory. Thus, the present findings show that cues to forget benefit the remaining information in visual working memory by fundamentally improving their quality relative to conditions in which just as many items are encoded but no cue is provided.
Melonie Williams; Sang W Hong; Min-Suk Kang; Nancy B Carlisle; Geoffrey F Woodman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychonomic bulletin & review     Volume:  20     ISSN:  1531-5320     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychon Bull Rev     Publication Date:  2013 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-03-05     Completed Date:  2013-09-03     Revised Date:  2014-04-02    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9502924     Medline TA:  Psychon Bull Rev     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  348-55     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Attention / physiology*
Inhibition (Psychology)
Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
Mental Recall / physiology*
Retention (Psychology) / physiology
Young Adult
Grant Support
R01 EY019882/EY/NEI NIH HHS; R01-EY019882/EY/NEI NIH HHS

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