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  Two mechanisms of voluntary memory suppression

Benoit, R. G., Hulbert, J. C., & Anderson, M. C. (2011). Two mechanisms of voluntary memory suppression. Poster presented at 18th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA.

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 Creators:
Benoit, Roland G.1, Author              
Hulbert, Justin C.1, Author
Anderson, Michael C.1, Author
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1External Organizations, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: When confronted with an unwelcome reminder of a past event, people often attempt to prevent the event from coming to mind. Previ- ous research has shown that repeatedly preventing retrieval of an unwanted memory leads to forgetting of the avoided memory item (Anderson & Green, Nature, 2001). Neuroimaging evidence implicates extensive, bilateral aspects of lateral prefrontal cortex in mediating such memory suppression (Anderson et al., Science, 2004; Depue et al., Sci- ence, 2007). However, these studies did not examine the exact mecha- nism supported by different prefrontal subregions. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study employed a between-sub- ject design to elucidate the neural correlates of two potential mecha- nisms: ‘‘thought substitution’’ (i.e., retrieving an alternative thought to distract from the unwanted memory) and ‘‘direct suppression’’ of the unwanted item. Though both mechanisms led to forgetting of the sup- pressed items compared to a baseline condition, they were supported by partly separable prefrontal subregions. The results thus suggest that vol- untary memory suppression can be mediated by two distinct neuro-cog- nitive mechanisms.

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 Dates: 2011-04-04
 Publication Status: Not specified
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Title: 18th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society
Place of Event: San Francisco, CA
Start-/End Date: 2011-04-02 - 2011-04-05

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