Jamie McGhee
Thu 16 Nov 2017, 13:00 - 14:00
Room S37, Department of Psychology, 7 George Square

If you have a question about this talk, please contact: Anna Mas-casadesus (s1462664)

Since the seminal works of Hermann Ebbinghaus in the late 19th century, studies of forgetting have been instrumental in informing us about long-term memory. However, the prominent yet diverging interference-based theories of forgetting emerging over time – consolidation theory and temporal distinctiveness theory - fall short in independently accounting for the findings we have seen over the years. Whilst it has become evident that minimal interference before and after new learning often results in reduced forgetting in long-term memory in both healthy and amnesic populations, we are still theoretically divided in our understandings as to why this occurs. In this talk, I will briefly explore the history of research into forgetting and outline the underlying theoretical accounts. I will also present my own behavioural evidence that patients with anterograde amnesia gain a significant additive benefit to long-term memory retention when interference is minimized both before and after new learning. This work, whilst not conclusive in its support for either consolidation theory or temporal distinctiveness theory, suggests that proactive interference should be theoretically acknowledged within consolidation accounts of forgetting in the future.