We have discussed reconsolidation of long term memory before (for example here and here). But there is a remarkable new study that I wanted to bring to your attention. The journal paper is here and a good summary in the New Scientist is here.
Memory of a traumatic event becomes consolidated within hours. Intrusive memories can then flash back repeatedly into the mind’s eye and cause distress. We investigated whether reconsolidation—the process during which memories become malleable when recalled—can be blocked using a cognitive task and whether such an approach can reduce these unbidden intrusions. We predicted that reconsolidation of a reactivated visual memory of experimental trauma could be disrupted by engaging in a visuospatial task that would compete for visual working memory resources. We showed that intrusive memories were virtually abolished by playing the computer game Tetris following a memory reactivation task 24 hr after initial exposure to experimental trauma.
As usual, getting the email with the latest papers appearing in the Human Factors journal is a great part of my day. The January announcement was no different. You know that I am interested in brain stimulation and often share advances from the neuroscience journals that I read. It was very rewarding to see one in Human Factors. And the extra benefit is that it is already focused on human factors applications so describing its usefulness is much easier.is interrupted. The authors determine whether transcranial…
As always, this month has some great articles in Human Factors.
There is one in particular that I want to highlight today. This study investigates the impact of conversation on driving performance.
In the present research, we investigated the hypothesis that working memory mediates conversation-induced impairment of situation awareness (SA) while driving.
I have seen many cases where people choose a strategy that takes more time or more physical effort to save mental effort. This paper used a very simple task to test out the idea.
We asked university students to pick up either of two buckets, one to the left of an alley and one to the right, and to carry the selected bucket to the alley’s end. In most trials, one of the buckets was closer to the end point…