Award Date

5-1-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Colleen M. Parks

Second Committee Member

David Copeland

Third Committee Member

Mark H. Ashcraft

Fourth Committee Member

Lori Olafson

Number of Pages

49

Abstract

Consolidation is the process by which memories become stable over time. Accessing a previously consolidated memory trace brings it back into a labile state where it must then undergo a re-stabilization process known as reconsolidation. During this process memories are again susceptible to interference and may be updated with new information. Reconsolidation has been demonstrated in animals as well as in the procedural and episodic human memory systems. The exact boundary conditions for reconsolidation are not yet known. Some studies suggest that reconsolidation is only necessary when new information is presented in a spatial context that is indistinguishable from the spatial context of the original memory, indicating that spatial context alone has the properties required to reinstate the context of the original learning. Other recent results indicate that regardless of space, reconsolidation is used as an updating mechanism that is only required when there is a mismatch between original and new learning. Here, I provide further evidence that spatial context plays an important role in triggering reconsolidation, and that a single salient cue is unable to do so (Experiment 1). However, if spatial context is not varied, it may be the case that prediction error can be used to create a need for memory updating via a reconsolidation process (Experiment 2).

Keywords

Consolidation; Memory; Reconsolidation; Updating

Disciplines

Cognitive Psychology

Language

English


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