RP – Changing Episodic Memory

RP – Changing Episodic Memory

“Changing/manipulating” memory sounds like something straight out of a spy movie. Memories are erased or altered, so the good (or bad) guy won’t be able to remember the code to the nuclear weapons that can wipe out all of humanity. Or maybe someone saw an alien in the street and the government uses a pen with a memory-deletion device and *bam* problem solved. 

 Our research will not be as flashy, but hopefully equally interesting. The purpose of this experiment is to interfere in memory formation, to reveal an interesting process: Past studies have suggested that the main encoding (= saving of the memory) happens not during an event (eg. video-clip), but shortly afterwards. If that’s when the memory is being stored, this should also be when it is most vulnerable. 

 To prove this, we will show our participants some short movie clips. Between each clip there will either be a blank screen (condition 1) or images of unrelated scenes (condition 2), intended to distract the participants and their hippocampal (memory) processing. 

 After either 20 minutes or 24h, they will be asked to answer a few questions about the clips. We expect that people will remember less from the video clips in condition 2 compared to condition 1. We also expect memory to be worse after 24h than after 20 minutes. If our results match our hypothesis, it will provide further proof for this vulnerable period. This could be helpful to enrich study-/teaching methods and many more things, related to memory.  

Students of group 19, subgroup 1: Anna Lang, Sophie Geiß, Emilie Bougelet, Nikolas Konstantinou, Oskar Ott

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