What forgetting tells us about remembering: The influence of top–down control on hemispheric asymmetries in verbal memory

Michael J. Tat, Tamiko Azuma

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    It has been suggested that left hemisphere (LH) advantages in verbal processing is due to superior top–down control of verbal information. It is not clear how top–down mechanisms affect the encoding and retrieval of verbal information from hemispheric memory and whether they only influence activation or also encompass the inhibition of verbal information. The directed forgetting method, in conjunction with divided visual field presentation, was used to examine the influence of top–down control mechanisms on hemispheric asymmetries in verbal memory. Participants were cued to remember or forget words. Cues were presented either simultaneously with targets or after a short delay. A recognition memory test using divided visual field presentation was then given. Response times (RTs) revealed effects of cue timing in the LH. With simultaneous cues, RTs were faster to “Remember” words compared to “Forget” words. With delayed cues, RTs for “Remember” and “Forget” words were equivalent. In the right hemisphere (RH), “Remember” words were consistently faster than “Forget” words, regardless of cue timing. These data provide evidence that top–down mechanisms influenced LH verbal memory retrieval more than RH verbal memory retrieval. Finally, there was little evidence to suggest the hemispheres differ in inhibitory processing.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)171-190
    Number of pages20
    JournalLaterality
    Volume20
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 4 2015

    Keywords

    • Executive function
    • Hemispheric asymmetry
    • Top–down control
    • Verbal memory

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Psychology(all)

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