SYMPOSIUM I: Multi-Voxel Pattern Analyses of Source Memory
Regency A-C, Friday Morning, 10:00-12:00
Organized by Karen J. Mitchell, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
The Patterns of Our Past: Decoding FMRI Signatures of Real World Event Memories. JESSE RISSMAN,University of California.
The act of retrieving the source context associated with a memory probe is known to engage a distributed network of cortico-hippocampal regions that facilitate the reinstatement of event details and monitor the emerging mnemonic content. I will discuss how multi-voxel pattern analysis can be applied to capture neural signatures of this retrieval process. I will then describe an experiment aimed at decoding memories for real world experiences, captured via necklace-mounted cameras over a 3-week period. Prior to scanning, participants previewed photographs of a subset of their own life events as well as others’ life events. Then fMRI data were collected as participants evaluated these photos along with ones they had not previously seen. Our analyses demonstrate robust decoding of self vs. other status, even when others’ photos had been pre-exposed to diminish their novelty. Thus, brain patterns can distinguish the reliving of personally-experienced events from memories for secondhand event knowledge.
Email: Jesse Rissman, email@example.com
Context-Specific Coding of Memories in the Hippocampus. CHARAN RANGANATH, University of California, Davis.
The ability to form memories is useful to the extent that the right memories can be accessed to guide future behavior. However, the optimal way to store those memories can vary across situations. In some situations, it is better to assign similar representations to memories that involve similar people/things. In other cases, it is better to assign similar representations to memories that involve different people/things encountered in the same spatiotemporal context. I will present evidence from multivariate analyses of fMRI data demonstrating that the brain adopts multiple representational strategies. Neocortical areas exhibit similar activity patterns during processing of items that share attributes; the hippocampus exhibits highly specific patterns that distinguish between multiple encounters of the same item in different contexts. This is consistent with the idea that the hippocampus contributes to episodic memory by forming contextdependent representations that link temporally contiguous, but distinct, inputs and segregates conceptually similar, but temporally-distinct episodes.
Email: Charan Ranganath, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stimulus-Specific Reactivation During Post-Learning Offline Periods and During Recollection. BERNHARD STARESINA, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, The University of Cambridge, UK.
The transformation of new experiences into durable memory traces and the phenomenological experience of recollection have remained among the most intriguing questions for memory researchers. In the first part of my talk, I will present functional neuroimaging data showing that individual experiences are reactivated in the brain during post-learning rest periods, and that the amount of such ‘offline reactivation’ predicts later memory success. The second question I will address concerns the subjective feeling of re-living the past when we recollect. I will present data showing that neural patterns of individual experiences indeed come back online when we remember. Together, these data suggest that MVPA can be used to track the mnemonic fate of individual learning experiences during post-learning rest and during recollection.
Email: Bernhard Staresina, email@example.com
Source Memory Confidence and Tracking Neural Reactivation During Retrieval. JEFFREY D. JOHNSON, University of Missouri.
MVPA of fMRI data has revealed that episodic memory retrieval involves reactivating neural patterns that were present during encoding. Whereas such reactivation appears to be more prevalent as recognition confidence increases and as qualitative information is recollected, the neural mechanisms by which reactivation is tracked in support of retrieval judgments is unknown. We have begun to address this issue by having subjects encode items under different source (task) conditions and then acquiring confidence ratings about source retrieval. MVPA provides an index of source-related neural patterns from encoding being reactivated during retrieval and has revealed the expected reactivation increase with source confidence. Furthermore, activity in a region of posterior parietal cortex – previously established as sensitive to the amount of information recollected – correlates positively with the level of reactivation. These findings suggest that parietal cortex tracks changes in the magnitude of neural reactivation in support of subjective judgments about source memory retrieval.
Email: Jeffrey D. Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Role of Episodic Reinstatement in Mnemonic Decision Making. ALISON R. PRESTON, The University of Texas at Austin.
Numerous theories propose that successful remembering depends on reinstating the neural activation patterns engaged during the initial learning experience. To test this prediction, we employed pattern information analysis across several human fMRI studies to directly compare brain patterns during encoding and retrieval in a variety of decision making contexts. Our data show that during episodic decision making (e.g., cued recall and source memory), reinstatement of encoding patterns within both medial temporal lobe and neocortex are associated with superior performance. For instance, the similarity between encoding and retrieval patterns within the temporal lobe tracked the speed and accuracy with which participants made decisions about reinstated memories as well as novel decisions about the relationships among memories. Moreover, reinstatement of encoding patterns in the temporal lobe was associated with decision signals in prefrontal and parietal cortex. Collectively, these results highlight the important role of episodic reinstatement across a variety of memory behaviors.
Email: Alison R. Preston, email@example.com
Panel Q&A: Discussion of Outstanding Questions and Future Directions. KAREN J. MITCHELL, West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
Email: Karen J. Mitchell, firstname.lastname@example.org
SYMPOSIUM II: Cognitive Science in the Attention Economy
Regency A-C, Friday Afternoon, 1:30-3:40
Organized by Sean M. Lane, Louisiana State University, and Paul Atchley, University of Kansas
Introduction. PAUL ATCHLEY, University of Kansas.
The Attention Economy: Increasing Risk in a World of Divided Attention. PAUL ATCHLEY, University of Kansas.
Cellular phones are not the first technology to worry traffic safety professionals. A 1939 Journal of Applied Psychology paper titled “Radio Listening and Automobiles” (Suchman, 1939) noted that many drivers, automobile safety clubs, and legislatures worried that radios would result in “interference with proper operation of the vehicle” (p. 148). New technologies are often social in nature and they challenge our attention in new ways. This talk will briefly discuss the safety challenges we now face from ubiquitous social technologies. But the primary goal of the talk will be consider a model of the effect of the attention economy on cognition (Atchley & Lane, in press) both as a way to understand challenges to safety and to preview subsequent talks in the symposium.
Email: Paul Atchley, email@example.com
Effects of Information Technology on Self-Regulation. SEAN M. LANE AND DANIELLA CASH, Louisiana State University.
Self-regulatory cognitive processes and skills are critical for helping us achieve interpersonal, educational, and professional goals. These processes allow us to monitor our performance and overcome obstacles, as well as influence our emotional experience and motivation. For all its benefits, information technology (IT) often appears to undermine our self-regulatory capacity. For example, distraction from IT devices can prevent self-regulatory processes from being deployed when they are needed. In this talk, we first discuss current theoretical understanding of self-regulation with respect to 1) learning and 2) the experience of emotion. We then discuss ways that IT might interfere with self-regulation in these domains. We conclude by examining how IT might be used to support self-regulation rather than hinder it, and explore potential new directions for research on the topic.
Email: Sean Lane, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Say Cheese!”: How Taking and Viewing Photos Shapes What People Remember. LINDA A. HENKEL,Fairfield University.
Modern technology has made taking, sharing, and digitally altering photos part of our everyday experience. The number of photos taken each day is staggering, though many people are overwhelmed by the mass they accumulate and do not organize or even look at many of the photos they have taken. This talk examines some trends in the use of digital photography, and juxtaposes that against research addressing how taking and viewing photos can shape what people remember. This will include research on the impact of viewing real and doctored photos on memory, research on the effects of photos accompanying news stories on subsequent knowledge and beliefs about public events, and research on how taking photos during a museum tour can influence people’s recollection of details about what they experienced.
Email: Linda Henkel, LHenkel@mail.fairfield.edu
Go Outside: Nature is the Cure for Impoverished Attention. RUTH ANN ATCHLEY, University of Kansas.
One aspect of processing that distinguishes low and high verbally creative individuals is that high creatives maintain multiple subordinate word associations for longer periods of time (R. A. Atchley, Keeney & Burgess, 1999). This would suggest that distraction could harm creative output by disrupting the ability to maintain multiple representations in mind. Consistent with this idea is recent work showing that disconnecting from distracting devices and being immersed in natural settings for an extended period of time can boost the production of creative verbal associations by 50% (R. A. Atchley, Strayer & Atchley, 2012). The current talk will review this work and explore how these findings inform us that removing distractions and making time for reflection moves creative output to its peak. It will also explore how the positive aspects of natural environments may improve cognitive function by improving other features of psychological functioning such as mood.
Email: Ruth Ann Atchley, email@example.com
Discussion and Questions. PAUL ATCHLEY, University of Kansas, and SEAN LANE, Louisiana State University.
SYMPOSIUM III: Memory, Sleep, and Dreams
Regency A-C, Saturday Morning, 9:50-12:00
Organized by Richard Schweickert, Purdue University
The Role of Systematicity in the Consolidation of Linguistic Knowledge. GARETH GASKELL and JELENA MIRKOVIĆ, University of York, UK.
Many theories of sleep-associated memory consolidation suggest that declarative and procedural memories recruit different components of sleep during the consolidation process. However, until now, less attention has been placed on divisions within declarative memory. Here we examine the role of one key variable, namely systematicity.Two experiments manipulated the systematicity of artificial language mappings between form and meaning, using grammatical gender (Experiment 1) and number (Experiment 2). Participants learned the languages and then spent time awake or asleep. Rather than boosting performance overall, the effect of sleep depended on the level of systematicity in the newly learnt mapping. More systematic mappings showed little or no benefit of sleep, whereas more arbitrary mappings revealed better performance after sleep than after wake. We interpret these results in the context of a connectionist complementary systems account of memory consolidation in which systematicity dictates the level of initial involvement of the hippocampus.
Email: Gareth Gaskell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fast Mapping Integrates Information Into Existing Memory Networks. MARC N. COUTANCHE, Yale University, SHARON L. THOMPSON-SCHILL, University of Pennsylvania.
Successful learning involves integrating new material into existing memory networks, typically through a slow consolidation process, which can benefit from sleep. Recent results suggested that a ‘fast mapping’ (FM) learning procedure could bypass hippocampal consolidation, whichhas led to the proposal that FM may incorporate information directly into cortical networks. We report two experiments into whether FM enables rapid lexical integration. In experiment 1, we introduced participants to sixteen unfamiliar animals and names through either FM or explicit encoding (EE), and tested subjects on the day of training, and again after sleep. Learning through EE produced strong declarative memories, although without immediate lexical competition (as expected from slow-consolidation models). Learning through FM, however, led to almost immediate lexical competition(without strong declarative memory; a double dissociation). In experiment 2, we replicated this effect and found that the presence of a known animal plays an important role in this rapid integration.
Email: Marc N. Coutanche, email@example.com
Sleep and False Memory: Friend or Foe? KIMBERLY M. FENN, Michigan State University, STEVEN J. FRENDA,University of California, Irvine, MARIA S. ZARAGOZA, Kent State University, ELIZABETH F. LOFTUS, University of California, Irvine, SHARI R. BERKOWITZ, California State University, Dominquez Hills.
Despite strong evidence that sleep strengthens veridical memory, the role of sleep in the formation of false memory remains unresolved. For example, one study found that sleep decreased false memory whereas another found that it increased false memory. The experiments differed in the type of test (recognition vs. recall, respectively) but were otherwise similar. Furthermore, studies investigating the effect of sleep deprivation on false memory are also equivocal. In some work, deprivation increased false memory but several studies found no effect of deprivation. One weakness to this literature is that all studies have used the DRM paradigm to test false memory. We will discuss ongoing work investigating the role of sleep and sleep deprivation in the formation of false memory using the misinformation paradigm. Specifically, both sleep and sleep deprivation can have contrasting effects on false memory, in some situations decreasing memory distortion and in others, increasing memory distortion.
Email: Kimberly M. Fenn, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sleep and Motor Learning: Is There Room for Consolidation? TIMOTHY RICKARD AND STEVEN PAN, University of California, San Diego.
Motor skill performance improves after a night of sleep, a phenomenon that is widely attributed to sleep-specific consolidation. We report results of a quantitative meta-analysis in which the explanatory power of several alternative and previously hypothesized accounts was explored. Four factors were identified as highly predictive of the post-sleep gain: the degree of data averaging in the calculation of pre-post gain scores, the degree of reactive inhibition over the course of training, time of testing, and training duration. After adjusting for those factors, there is no evidence that sleep enhances motor learning. Further, relatively better performance after sleep than after wakefulness was observed for only one of four experimental designs, and that design is uniquely subject to a time of testing confound. We discuss challenges for the field, make recommendations for improved experimental design, and suggest a new approach to data analysis that eliminates confounds due to data averaging.
Email: Timothy Rickard , email@example.com
Sleep-Based Emotional Memory Consolidation: The Role of Physiological Tagging of Memories During Encoding. JESSICA PAYNE, University of Notre Dame.
Negative objects are typically better remembered than the neutral backgrounds on which they are placed, while neutral objects and backgrounds are remembered equivalently. This preferential reinforcement of negative objects within scenes is known as the emotional memory trade-off effect, and it has been shown to increase following periods of sleep. Here we examined the sleep stage correlates of this selective benefit to emotional objects, and whether elevated levels of cortisol and physiological reactivity (measured by heart-rate deceleration, HRD, and GSR) to images at encoding would predict subsequent memory for these objects. Memory for emotional objects was associated with REM sleep, and cortisol levels and degree of HRD and GSR response to negative scenes at encoding predicted subsequent memory for negative objects, but only if participants slept. These results suggest that cortisol and visceral reactions to negative pictures at encoding ‘tag’ these memories as important to process during subsequent sleep.
Email: Jessica Payne, Jessica.Payne.firstname.lastname@example.org
Associative Memory Networks and the Systematic Occurrence of People in Dreams. RICHARD SCHWEICKERT, HYE JOO HAN, and ZHUANGZHUANG XI, Purdue University, CHARLES VIAU-QUESNEL, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières.
During Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, the stage from which most dreams are reported, primary sensory cortices are less active than while awake. Any systematic patterns found in dream content must arise from the dreamer’s memory. A fruitful strategy is to examine the most salient entities reported from dreams, people. To look for systematic patterns in appearances of people, social networks were constructed by linking any two characters who occurred in the same dream. Such dream social networks were constructed for five individuals, each with reports of hundreds of dreams. Important social network parameters were found to vary systematically, and not as predicted from comparable randomly connected networks. The dream social networks are similar in many ways to word association networks. Although dream social networks are systematic, they differ from waking life social networks. We attribute the difference to remote associations being followed in REM sleep.
Email: Richard Schweickert, email@example.com
General Questions. RICHARD SCHWEICKERT, Purdue University.
SYMPOSIUM IV: New Ideas About Memory Development
Regency A-C, Saturday Afternoon, 1:30-3:40
Organized by Rebecca L. Gómez, University of Arizona, and Nora S. Newcombe, Temple University
Introduction. REBECCA L. GÓMEZ, University of Arizona
A Puzzle in Memory Development: Similar Outcomes Driven by Different Memory Processes. REBECCA L. GÓMEZ, University of Arizona.
Generalization requires extracting relevant cues across training instances while ignoring irrelevant ones. We investigate memory in young children who are unable to generalize at learning, but who generalize after a delay. Children saw stimuli with strongly supported cues relevant to generalization and weakly supported variations across trials. Sleep promoted generalization in 12-month-old infants and retarded generalization in 2.5-year-old toddlers who performed better after a delay containing wake. These seemingly contradictory findings make sense in light of developing memory structures. In infancy an immature trisynaptic circuit precludes hippocampal sharp wave ripples and neural replay, favoring generalization based on a downscaling process that retains stronger memories over weaker ones. Later in development hen hippocampal connectivity may begin to support neural replay, high levels of slow wave sleep may consolidate relevant and irrelevant information equally, leaving children with little basis for generalization. During wake children forget weaker, irrelevant memories permitting generalization.
Email: Rebecca L. Gómez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Relations Between Episodic Memory and Spatial Memory Development. NORA NEWCOMBE, Temple University.
Episodic memory involves binding together what-where-when associations. Spatial memory arguably involves exactly the same associations, and both kinds of memory are supported by the hippocampus and associated neural structures. So, are there correlations at the individual difference level between the two kinds of memory? Can charting the development of one kind of memory give us information about the developmental trajectory of the other? This paper suggests that the answer to both questions is “yes.” It also argues that children’s episodic memory undergoes an early qualitative change, followed by continuing increments in the use of contextual cues throughout the preschool period.
Email: Nora S. Newcombe, email@example.com
Remembering Things In, and Out of, Context Across Typical and Atypical Development. JAMIE EDGIN, University of Arizona.
Context effects on object recognition show a u-shaped developmental trajectory (Edgin et al, 2014). Specifically, these effects are present in preschool children, disappear in mid-childhood, and reappear after age 13 years, with well-replicated effects in adults. Context effects in young children likely reflect unitized binding, flexibility emerges around 24-48 months (depending on task demands), and then in adolescence into adulthood there is increasing ability to encode and retrieve complex representations (objects in scenes). Individuals with memory disorders show lapses in these transitions. Those with autism show no context effects, and no increase in scene recognition into the adult years, suggesting they never reach the final stages of development. In contrast, individuals with Down syndrome, an intellectual disability affecting hippocampus, show clear context effects, much like young children. Therefore, the association of objects in context, often thought to reflect hippocampal binding, must be mediated by different neural systems across development.
Email: Jamie Edgin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Development of Flexible Retrieval. SIMONA GHETTI, DANA DEMASTER, AND CHRISTINE COUGHLIN, University of California, Davis.
Episodic memories are arguably most useful if they can be retrieved in the absence of the original encoding context and through a variety of retrieval cues; this retrieval flexibility has been found to improve with age. The goal of the present study was to examine hippocampal contribution to the development of flexible episodic retrieval. FMRI data were collected 8-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and adults (N=56) during an associative memory task that required participants to retrieve pairs of pictures that either appeared in the same location or a different location as during encoding. Recognition of different-location pairs required more flexible retrieval than recognition of same-location trials. Developmental differences were found such that adults, but not children, recruited the hippocampus more strongly for correct different-location trials compared to correct samelocation trials; the opposite was true for children. Overall, these results implicate hippocampal development as a source of developmental change in flexible retrieval.
Email: Simona Ghetti, email@example.com
Discussion and Questions. NORA NEWCOMBE, Temple University.
Email: Nora Newcombe, firstname.lastname@example.org