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Title: Neural correlates of encoding pictures into long-term memory : the influence of advance information
Author: Wang, D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 5159
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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It has been shown that neural activity before an event influences the likelihood that the event will later be remembered. This doctoral thesis aimed to clarify the functional role of anticipatory activity in long-term memory by manipulating the amount of advance information that is available about an upcoming pictorial encoding event. The first three studies employed scalp-recorded electrical brain activity. Experiment 1 investigated how advance information about the physical form of an object (a perceptually impoverished outline or detailed photograph) affects encoding-related processes. In the temporal domain, event-related potentials (ERPs) showed encoding-related differences regardless of type of advance information. In the frequency domain, decreases in theta and alpha power predicted later memory, but only for photographs. Experiment 2 addressed how preparation time (1.5 or 3 s) affects the encoding of photographs. Only when the preparatory interval was long did anticipatory ERP activity predict encoding success. Experiment 3 aimed to induce a brain state conducive to effective encoding by asking participants to prepare for a delayed match-to-sample task known to involve the hippocampus. A memory probe during the anticipation period suggested that encoding was indeed better before an episodic, rather than control, version of the task. Finally, Experiments 4 and 5 used behavioural measures to address the relationship between encoding-related anticipatory processes and overall memory performance. Experiment 4 compared retrieval under full and divided attention conditions. When retrieval resources were limited by a secondary task, memory performance was better following longer preparation times during encoding. This pattern was not seen in Experiment 5, which contrasted easy and difficult secondary task conditions. Together, the doctoral thesis suggests that the more information is available to guide preparation, the more likely it is that anticipatory activity influences encoding. Individuals may be able to actively employ preparatory processes to strengthen memory under certain circumstances.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available