Experimental manipulations of the phenomenology of memory.

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We investigated the effects of visual input at encoding and retrieval on the phenomenology of memory. In Experiment 1, participants took part in events with and without wearing blindfolds, and later were shown a video of the events. Blindfolding, as well as later viewing of the video, both tended to decrease recollection. In Experiment 2, participants were played videos, with and without the visual component, of events involving other people. Events listened to without visual input were recalled with less recollection; later adding of the visual component increased recollection. In Experiment 3, participants were provided with progressively more information about events that they had experienced, either in the form of photographs that they had taken of the events or narrative descriptions of those photographs. In comparison with manipulations at encoding, the addition of more visual or narrative cues at recall had similar but smaller effects on recollection.







David C. Rubin

Juanita M. Kreps Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

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My main research interest has been in long-term memory, especially for complex (or "real-world") stimuli. This work includes the study of autobiographical memory and oral traditions, as well as prose. I have also studied memory as it is more commonly done in experimental psychology laboratories using lists. In addition to this purely behavioral research, which I plan to continue, I work on memory in clinical populations with the aid of a National Institute of Mental Health grant to study PTSD and on the underlying neural basis of memory the aid of a National Institute of Aging grant to study autobiographical memory using fMRI.

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