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Neural evidence that disengaging memory retrieval is modulated by stimulus valence and rumination

Xia, Jiangyi and Evans, Lisa H. ORCID: 2020. Neural evidence that disengaging memory retrieval is modulated by stimulus valence and rumination. Scientific Reports 10 (1) , 7548. 10.1038/s41598-020-64404-7

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To remember information from our personal past we need to be in a cognitive state where we treat stimuli as cues for memory retrieval. In this study we considered whether participants could exert control and disengage from a memory state when it was no longer required for the task at hand. In particular, we examined whether this ability was affected by the valence of the stimuli and participant’s rumination scores. After a study phase participants completed test blocks where the task switched every two trials between a memory task (retrieving information from the study phase) and a perceptual task. Even though there was no episodic memory requirement in the perceptual task, a well-established event-related potential (ERP) index of memory retrieval was present for both trials when the stimuli were negative valenced pictures but not for neutral pictures. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between the magnitude of this ERP memory index in the perceptual task and rumination scores but only for neutral stimuli and not negative. Thus, in this study participants generally had difficultly suppressing memory retrieval when negative stimuli were presented. However, for neutral stimuli only ruminators were more susceptible to memory intrusions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 May 2020
Date of Acceptance: 3 April 2020
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 09:19

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