ERIC Number: EJ1055966
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Sleep Can Eliminate List-Method Directed Forgetting
Abel, Magdalena; Bäuml, Karl-Heinz T.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v39 n3 p946-952 May 2013
Recent work suggests a link between sleep and memory consolidation, indicating that sleep in comparison to wakefulness stabilizes memories. However, relatively little is known about how sleep affects forgetting. Here we examined whether sleep influences directed forgetting, the finding that people can intentionally forget obsolete memories when cued to do so. We applied the list-method directed forgetting task and assessed memory performance after 3 delay intervals. Directed forgetting was present after a short 20-min delay and after a 12-hr delay filled with diurnal wakefulness; in contrast, the forgetting was absent after a 12-hr delay that included regular nocturnal sleep. Successful directed forgetting after a delay thus can depend on whether sleep or wakefulness follows upon encoding: When wakefulness follows upon encoding, the forgetting can be successful; when sleep follows upon encoding, no forgetting may arise. Connections of the results to recent studies on the interplay between forgetting and sleep are discussed.
Descriptors: Sleep, Memory, Time, Cognitive Processes, College Students, Cues, Recall (Psychology), Interference (Learning), Visual Stimuli, Word Lists, Nouns, Barriers
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A