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Chronologically organized structure in autobiographical memory search.

Brunec IK, Chadwick MJ, Javadi AH, Guo L, Malcolm CP, Spiers HJ - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: Specifically, participants first tended to jump back in time and retrieve memories from the day prior to the cued event.Following this they then transitioned forward in time, and retrieved memories from the day after the cued event.This pattern of results replicated in a second experiment with a much larger group of participants, and a different method of cueing the memories.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, Department of Experimental Psychology, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London , London, UK ; Department of Psychology, University of Toronto , Toronto, ON, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Each of us has a rich set of autobiographical memories that provides us with a coherent story of our lives. These memories are known to be highly structured both thematically and temporally. However, it is not known how we naturally tend to explore the mental timeline of our memories. Here we developed a novel cued retrieval paradigm in order to investigate the temporal element of memory search. We found that, when asked to search for memories in the days immediately surrounding a salient cued event, participants displayed a marked set of temporal biases in their search patterns. Specifically, participants first tended to jump back in time and retrieve memories from the day prior to the cued event. Following this they then transitioned forward in time, and retrieved memories from the day after the cued event. This pattern of results replicated in a second experiment with a much larger group of participants, and a different method of cueing the memories. We argue that this set of temporal biases is consistent with memory search conforming to a temporally ordered narrative structure.

No MeSH data available.


Mean bias scores for the first event recalled (Event 1) and the second event recalled (Event 2). Negative mean bias refers to past and positive mean bias refers to future. Error bars indicate 95% confidence interval.
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Figure 2: Mean bias scores for the first event recalled (Event 1) and the second event recalled (Event 2). Negative mean bias refers to past and positive mean bias refers to future. Error bars indicate 95% confidence interval.

Mentions: Subjects were able to describe details from at least one event that occurred in the days immediately around the Cued Event (Event 1) on 70.7% of trials (SD = 22.35), and just over half recalled a second event (Event 2: mean percentage of trials for which an event was recalled = 54.5%, SD = 27.51). The mean bias score for Event 1 was –0.649 (SD = 0.40) and the mean bias score for Event 2 was 0.537 (SD = 0.57), see Figure 2. One-sample t-tests confirmed that the bias score for Event 1 was significantly less than 0 [t(19) = –7.173, p < 0.001, 95% CI (–0.838, –0.460)] and the bias score for Event 2 was significantly greater than 0 [t(19) = 4.184, p = 0.001, 95% CI (0.268, 0.805)]. The difference between bias scores was also significant [t(19) = –6.761, p < 0.001, 95% CI (–1.553, –0.819)]. Thus subjects showed a bias toward initially recalling an event in the day before the Cued Event and subsequently, if they then recalled a second event, they showed a bias to recalling an event occurring the day after the Cued Event. Only one subject showed an overall forward bias for Event 1 (bias score = 0.33) and two subjects showed no bias (bias score = 0.0). This pattern was reversed for Event 2, where two subjects showed an overall backward bias (–0.2 and –1) and four subjects showed no bias (bias score = 0.0).


Chronologically organized structure in autobiographical memory search.

Brunec IK, Chadwick MJ, Javadi AH, Guo L, Malcolm CP, Spiers HJ - Front Psychol (2015)

Mean bias scores for the first event recalled (Event 1) and the second event recalled (Event 2). Negative mean bias refers to past and positive mean bias refers to future. Error bars indicate 95% confidence interval.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4373267&req=5

Figure 2: Mean bias scores for the first event recalled (Event 1) and the second event recalled (Event 2). Negative mean bias refers to past and positive mean bias refers to future. Error bars indicate 95% confidence interval.
Mentions: Subjects were able to describe details from at least one event that occurred in the days immediately around the Cued Event (Event 1) on 70.7% of trials (SD = 22.35), and just over half recalled a second event (Event 2: mean percentage of trials for which an event was recalled = 54.5%, SD = 27.51). The mean bias score for Event 1 was –0.649 (SD = 0.40) and the mean bias score for Event 2 was 0.537 (SD = 0.57), see Figure 2. One-sample t-tests confirmed that the bias score for Event 1 was significantly less than 0 [t(19) = –7.173, p < 0.001, 95% CI (–0.838, –0.460)] and the bias score for Event 2 was significantly greater than 0 [t(19) = 4.184, p = 0.001, 95% CI (0.268, 0.805)]. The difference between bias scores was also significant [t(19) = –6.761, p < 0.001, 95% CI (–1.553, –0.819)]. Thus subjects showed a bias toward initially recalling an event in the day before the Cued Event and subsequently, if they then recalled a second event, they showed a bias to recalling an event occurring the day after the Cued Event. Only one subject showed an overall forward bias for Event 1 (bias score = 0.33) and two subjects showed no bias (bias score = 0.0). This pattern was reversed for Event 2, where two subjects showed an overall backward bias (–0.2 and –1) and four subjects showed no bias (bias score = 0.0).

Bottom Line: Specifically, participants first tended to jump back in time and retrieve memories from the day prior to the cued event.Following this they then transitioned forward in time, and retrieved memories from the day after the cued event.This pattern of results replicated in a second experiment with a much larger group of participants, and a different method of cueing the memories.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, Department of Experimental Psychology, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London , London, UK ; Department of Psychology, University of Toronto , Toronto, ON, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Each of us has a rich set of autobiographical memories that provides us with a coherent story of our lives. These memories are known to be highly structured both thematically and temporally. However, it is not known how we naturally tend to explore the mental timeline of our memories. Here we developed a novel cued retrieval paradigm in order to investigate the temporal element of memory search. We found that, when asked to search for memories in the days immediately surrounding a salient cued event, participants displayed a marked set of temporal biases in their search patterns. Specifically, participants first tended to jump back in time and retrieve memories from the day prior to the cued event. Following this they then transitioned forward in time, and retrieved memories from the day after the cued event. This pattern of results replicated in a second experiment with a much larger group of participants, and a different method of cueing the memories. We argue that this set of temporal biases is consistent with memory search conforming to a temporally ordered narrative structure.

No MeSH data available.