Award Date

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Colleen Parks

Second Committee Member

David Copeland

Third Committee Member

Joel Snyder

Fourth Committee Member

Lisa Bendixen

Number of Pages



It has been well established that consolidated memories can be reactivated and enter a labile state where they are once again vulnerable to modification. Reactivated memories, therefore, need to be restabilized or reconsolidated. Prediction error (PE) is one of the most common ways of reactivating consolidated memories, yet no studies have examined how varying the strength of PE influences reconsolidation. The present study aimed to determine if the strength of PE is an important factor for triggering reconsolidation and if so, how PE strength influences the reconsolidation process, whether through strengthening or weakening the memory. To vary PE strength, participants were presented with triplets of images on Day 1. The first two images created a predictable context for the following target image. The context and target images repeated together either 4 times (high PE), 1 time (low PE), or not at all (no PE), to vary the strength of prediction. On Day 2, PE was introduced by replacing the expected Day 1 targets with novel targets for the reactivation group. A control group was presented with a new sequence of images and experienced no PE. Finally, on Day 3 all participants were tested on their memory of Day 1 and Day 2 targets using a recognition memory test. We predicted that high PE would result in better memory for both Day 1 and Day 2 targets. We also predicted that the reactivation group would remember more Day 1 and Day 2 targets compared to the control group. We did not find the predicted pattern of results. Participants in the reactivation group showed significantly worse memory for items in the high PE and low PE conditions compared to the NoPE conditions. We also did not find evidence of reconsolidation. There was no difference in memory performance between the reactivation group (experienced PE) and the control group (did not experience PE). Keywords: reconsolidation, prediction error, memory


Memory; Prediction error; Reconsolidation


Cognitive Psychology

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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