Title

Time-dependent Changes in Inaccessible Memory

Publication Title

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

Publication Date

9-1998

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.3758/BF03208832

Keywords

time-dependent changes, inaccessible memory

Disciplines

Psychology

Abstract

The present experiment examined whether forgetting of contextual attributes-the loss of discriminability of background stimulus features over time-also occurs when a memory remains inaccessible (amnestic) during the retention interval. Toexamine this issue, rats received an acute hypothermia treatment that caused reversible anterograde amnesia for a passive-avoidance task and were tested 1 or 7 days later in either the same or a different context. At the short retention interval, the subjects discriminated between the contexts, as evidenced by the finding that reversal of amnesia occurred only in the training context. However,at the 7-dayinterval, recovery of the avoidance response was induced in either context, reflecting the forgetting of differentiating characteristics. These findingsindicate that inaccessible memory remains susceptible to processes of modification and distortion that typically influence intact memories.


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