Recognition Memory is Improved by a Structured Temporal Framework During Encoding


In order to function optimally within our environment, we continuously extract temporal patterns from our experiences and formulate expectations that facilitate adaptive behavior. Given that our memories are embedded within spatiotemporal contexts, an intriguing possibility is that mnemonic processes are sensitive to the temporal structure of events. To test this hypothesis, in a series of behavioral experiments we manipulated the regularity of interval durations at encoding to create temporally structured and unstructured frameworks. Our findings revealed enhanced recognition memory (d′) for stimuli that were explicitly encoded within a temporally structured vs. unstructured framework. Encoding information within a temporally structured framework was also associated with a reduction in the negative effects of proactive interference and was linked to greater recollective recognition memory. Furthermore, rhythmic temporal structure was found to enhance recognition memory for incidentally encoded information. Collectively, these results support the possibility that we possess a greater capacity to learn and subsequently remember temporally structured information.

In Frontiers in Psychology
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Sathesan Thavabalasingam
Sathesan Thavabalasingam
Data Scientist

I am a Neuroscientist turned Data Scientist with an interest in deriving meaningful insights from data.