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Publication Detail
Alleviating memory impairment through distraction.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Cashdollar N, Lavie N, Düzel E
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    19012, 19022
  • Journal:
    J Neurosci
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Country:
    United States
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Adult, Analysis of Variance, Artifacts, Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe, Face, Female, Hippocampus, Humans, Magnetoencephalography, Male, Memory Disorders, Middle Aged, Photic Stimulation, Psychomotor Performance, Recognition, Psychology, Sclerosis, Theta Rhythm, Wavelet Analysis
Distraction typically has a negative impact on memory for recent events and patients with existing memory impairment are particularly vulnerable to distractor interference. In contrast, here we establish a beneficial effect for distractor presentation in humans for both patients with memory impairment due to bilateral hippocampal lesions and healthy adults with low memory performance. Recognition memory for images of place scenes, which had to be memorized for short delay periods was significantly improved with the presentation of a distractor face during the delay. Magnetoencephalography recordings of neural oscillations in the theta frequency range obtained in healthy adults suggest that this memory improvement results from the interruption of rehearsal by the distractor. Our results highlight circumstances where active memory rehearsal may paradoxically increase memory impairments and distraction alleviates these memory deficits in patients with hippocampal injury and healthy adults.
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