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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Retrieval-induced forgetting and mental imagery

Saunders, Jo and Fernandes, Marcelle and Kosnes, Liv (2009) Retrieval-induced forgetting and mental imagery. Memory and Cognition, 37 (6). pp. 819-828. ISSN 0090-502X

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Abstract

In the present article, we present four experiments in which we examined whether mental imagery can initiate retrieval-induced forgetting. Participants were presented with word pairs (Experiments 1, 2, and 3) or narratives (Experiment 4) and then engaged in selective mental imagery about half of the details from half of the categories. The results indicated that mental imagery can produce the same pattern of impairment as retrieval practice (Experiment 1) and postevent questioning (Experiment 4). Additionally, mental imagery-invoked, retrieval-induced forgetting was found for category cued recall (Experiments 1, 3, and 4) and cued recall (Experiment 2); it was found to dissipate across a 24-h delay, but only when there was no pre-delay test (Experiment 3). Such retrieval-induced forgetting was also found for imagining from the first-person and third-person perspectives (Experiment 4). From these findings, we suggest that the underlying retrieval processes behind mental imagery can initiate retrieval-induced forgetting. The findings are discussed in terms of inhibitory processes.