Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Prospective memory : methodologic, pharmacologic, and genetic considerations
Author: Marchant, Natalie Lorraine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2681 4643
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Prospective Memory (PM) - memory for a delayed intention - is essential for functioning in everyday life. Event-based PM relies on a cue (eg a postbox) to trigger recall of an intention (eg mail a letter). In the laboratory a typical event-based PM paradigm comprises a pre-designated PM cue which is embedded in an ongoing computerized task. Through a series of four articles I address the impact of methodology, pharmacology, and genetics on event-based PM in a laboratory setting. Article I examines the effect of varying PM cue frequency. Increasing cue frequency improves performance and causes an alteration in strategy towards the task. Article IV introduces a novel paradigm which differentiates the attention-based (prospective) and memory-based (retrospective) PM components, specifically measuring both accuracy and reaction time for these components. Article II concentrates on pharmacologic manipulations, focusing on the indirect noradrenergic agonist modafinil and the cholinergic against nicotine, and how their beneficial effects interact with cue frequency. When cue frequency is high (20%) modafinil facilitates performance, but not when cue frequency falls to 5%. Conversely, nicotine improves performance when cue frequency is low, but not when high. This pharmacologic double dissociation lends further support to the behavioural data, indicating activation of different attentional processes when cue frequency changes. Article III explores the cognitive consequences of possessing the ε4 variant of the Apolipoprotein E gene in younger adults; and extends the argument for early-age cognitive dominance of ε4 carriers to include superior PM performance. Additionally Article III reveals that nicotine again improves PM performance, but critically only for ε4 carriers. Finally, Article IV shows that non-ε4 carriers' PM performance remains unaffected by an increased nicotine dosage. These articles contribute to understanding PM and the complex interaction between the methods used to measure it, the drugs used to influence it, and individual differences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available