Effects of emotionally valenced working memory taxation on negative memories
tsai & mcnally 2014 jbtexp.pdf (171.8Kb)
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CitationTsai, Cynthia, and Richard J. McNally. 2014. “Effects of Emotionally Valenced Working Memory Taxation on Negative Memories.” Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 45 (1) (March): 15–19. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2013.07.004.
AbstractBackground and objectives: Memories enter a labile state during recollection. Thus, memory changes that occur during recollection can affect future instances of its activation. Having subjects perform a secondary task that taxes working memory while they recall a negative emotional memory often reduces its vividness and emotional intensity during subsequent recollections. However, researchers have not manipulated the emotional valence of the secondary task itself. Methods: Subjects viewed a video depicting the aftermath of three fatal road traffic accidents, establishing the same negative emotional memory for all subjects. We then tested their memory for the video after randomly assigning them to no secondary task or a delayed match-to-sample secondary task involving photographs of positive, negative, or neutral emotional valence. Results: The positive secondary task reduced memory for details about the video, whereas negative and neutral tasks did not. Limitations: We did not assess the vividness and emotionality of the subjects’ memory of the video. Conclusions: Having subjects recall a stressful experience while performing a positively valent secondary task can decrement details of the memory and perhaps its emotionality.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:34310815
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