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Title: The impact of selective attention and action on episodic memory
Author: Laurent, Xavier
Awarding Body: Prifysgol Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2013
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In 1972, Endel Tulving coined the term "episodic memory", with reference to the process used to link the many different types of infonuation constituting an event into a spatio-temporal context, which can be retrieved later. In this thesis I investigate what type of information is encoded in episodic memory while performing selective attention and action tasks. Over seven experiments, I look at the impact of various experimental conditions on the recall accuracy (free, recognition and cue) of episodic memory that includes object identity, spatial and temporal recall, since only very few studies have considered these three components together. My approach is novel as most other studies have used traditional attention experimental tasks to understand how infonuation is selected, Specifically, I use episodic-like memory tests to dissociate the impact of active and passive encoding states on memory, which in turn allows me to observe the phenomenon of distractor suppression encountered during the retrieval of previously encoded information. In general, results across several experimental conditions strongly indicate that memory superiority under passive 1110de could be related to the incidental encoding of irrelevant information. This effect is mostly found when memory is immediately tested and disappears some time later following a retroactive interference task. Distractors competing for an action receive a stronger suppression than those, which are not. The results are in agreement with selective attention studies, which suggest that distractors prevent from becoming the target of the action. The results highlight the role of action on epikodic encoding, demonstrating that using an active state of encoding does not increase the amount of information to encode (enhancement of targets), but reduces the numbers of non- relevant information stored in this trace (suppression of distractors).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available