Matching Items (2)

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Source memory revealed through eye movements and pupil dilation

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Current theoretical debate, crossing the bounds of memory theory and mental imagery, surrounds the role of eye movements in successful encoding and retrieval. Although the eyes have been shown to

Current theoretical debate, crossing the bounds of memory theory and mental imagery, surrounds the role of eye movements in successful encoding and retrieval. Although the eyes have been shown to revisit previously-viewed locations during retrieval, the functional role of these saccades is not known. Understanding the potential role of eye movements may help address classic questions in recognition memory. Specifically, are episodic traces rich and detailed, characterized by a single strength-driven recognition process, or are they better described by two separate processes, one for vague information and one for the retrieval of detail? Three experiments are reported, in which participants encoded audio-visual information while completing controlled patterns of eye movements. By presenting information in four sources (i.e., voices), assessments of specific and partial source memory were measured at retrieval. Across experiments, participants' eye movements at test were manipulated. Experiment 1 allowed free viewing, Experiment 2 required externally-cued fixations to previously-relevant (or irrelevant) screen locations, and Experiment 3 required externally-cued new or familiar oculomotor patterns to multiple screen locations in succession. Although eye movements were spontaneously reinstated when gaze was unconstrained during retrieval (Experiment 1), externally-cueing participants to re-engage in fixations or oculomotor patterns from encoding (Experiments 2 and 3) did not enhance retrieval. Across all experiments, participants' memories were well-described by signal-detection models of memory. Source retrieval was characterized by a continuous process, with evidence that source retrieval occurred following item memory failures, and additional evidence that participants partially recollected source, in the absence of specific item retrieval. Pupillometry provided an unbiased metric by which to compute receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, which were consistently curvilinear (but linear in z-space), supporting signal-detection predictions over those from dual-process theories. Implications for theoretical views of memory representations are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Isolating Neural Reward-Related Responses via Pupillometry

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Recent research has shown that reward-related stimuli capture attention in an automatic and involuntary manner, or reward-salience (Le Pelley, Pearson, Griffiths, & Beesley, 2015). Although patterns of oculomotor behavior have

Recent research has shown that reward-related stimuli capture attention in an automatic and involuntary manner, or reward-salience (Le Pelley, Pearson, Griffiths, & Beesley, 2015). Although patterns of oculomotor behavior have been previously examined in recent experiments, questions surrounding a potential neural signal of reward remain. Consequently, this study used pupillometry to investigate how reward-related stimuli affect pupil size and attention. Across three experiments, response time, accuracy, and pupil were measured as participants searched for targets among distractors. Participants were informed that singleton distractors indicated the magnitude of a potential gain/loss available in a trial. Two visual search conditions were included to manipulate ongoing cognitive demands and isolate reward-related pupillary responses. Although the optimal strategy was to perform quickly and accurately, participants were slower and less accurate in high magnitude trials. The data suggest that attention is automatically captured by potential loss, even when it is counterintuitive to current task goals. Regarding a pupillary response, patterns of pupil size were inconsistent with our predictions across the visual search conditions. We hypothesized that if pupil dilation reflected a reward-related reaction, pupil size would vary as a function of both the presence of a reward and its magnitude. More so, we predicted that this pattern would be more apparent in the easier search condition (i.e., cooperation visual search), because the signal of available reward was still present, but the ongoing attentional demands were significantly reduced in comparison to the more difficult search condition (i.e., conflict visual search). In contrast to our predictions, pupil size was more closely related to ongoing cognitive demands, as opposed to affective factors, in cooperation visual search. Surprisingly, pupil size in response to signals of available reward was better explained by affective, motivational and emotional influences than ongoing cognitive demands in conflict visual search. The current research suggests that similar to recent findings involving LC-NE activity (Aston-Jones & Cohen, 2005; Bouret & Richmond, 2009), the measure of pupillometry may be used to assess more specific areas of cognition, such as motivation and perception of reward. However, additional research is needed to better understand this unexpected pattern of pupil size.

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Date Created
  • 2017