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Episodic context binding in task switching: Evidence from amnesia


Meier, Beat; Rey-Mermet, Alodie; Woodward, Todd S; Müri, René; Gutbrod, Klemens (2013). Episodic context binding in task switching: Evidence from amnesia. Neuropsychologia, 51(5):886-892.

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether amnesic patients show a bivalency effect. The bivalency effect refers to the performance slowing that occurs when switching tasks and bivalent stimuli appear occasionally among univalent stimuli. According to the episodic context binding account, bivalent stimuli create a conflict-loaded context that is re-activated on subsequent trials and thus it is assumed that it depends on memory binding processes. Given the profound memory deficit in amnesia, we hypothesized that the bivalency effect would be largely reduced in amnesic patients. We tested sixteen severely amnesic patients and a control group with a paradigm requiring predictable alternations between three simple cognitive tasks, with bivalent stimuli occasionally occurring on one of these tasks. The results showed the typical bivalency effect for the control group, that is, a generalized slowing for each task. In contrast, for amnesic patients, only a short-lived slowing was present on the task that followed immediately after a bivalent stimulus, indicating that the binding between tasks and context was impaired in amnesic patients.

The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether amnesic patients show a bivalency effect. The bivalency effect refers to the performance slowing that occurs when switching tasks and bivalent stimuli appear occasionally among univalent stimuli. According to the episodic context binding account, bivalent stimuli create a conflict-loaded context that is re-activated on subsequent trials and thus it is assumed that it depends on memory binding processes. Given the profound memory deficit in amnesia, we hypothesized that the bivalency effect would be largely reduced in amnesic patients. We tested sixteen severely amnesic patients and a control group with a paradigm requiring predictable alternations between three simple cognitive tasks, with bivalent stimuli occasionally occurring on one of these tasks. The results showed the typical bivalency effect for the control group, that is, a generalized slowing for each task. In contrast, for amnesic patients, only a short-lived slowing was present on the task that followed immediately after a bivalent stimulus, indicating that the binding between tasks and context was impaired in amnesic patients.

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6 citations in Web of Science®
7 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:05 Mar 2014 15:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:44
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0028-3932
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.01.025
PubMed ID:23395937

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