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Neutral auditory words immediately followed by painful electric shock may show reduced next-day recollection


Norton, Caroline M; Ibinson, James W; Pcola, Samantha J; Popov, Vencislav; Tremel, Joshua J; Reder, Lynne M; Fiez, Julie A; Vogt, Keith M (2022). Neutral auditory words immediately followed by painful electric shock may show reduced next-day recollection. Experimental Brain Research, 240(11):2939-2951.

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the effect of experimentally delivered acute pain on memory. Twenty-five participants participated in experimental sessions on consecutive days. The first session involved a categorization task to encourage memory encoding. There were two conditions, presented in randomized order, in which participants listened to a series of words, which were repeated three times. In one condition, one-third of the word items were immediately followed by a painful electrical shock. This word-shock pairing was consistent across repetition and the pain-paired items were presented unpredictably. In the other condition, all word items were not associated with pain. Response times over these repeated presentations were assessed for differences. Explicit memory was tested the following day, employing a Remember–Know assessment of word recognition, with no shocks employed. We found evidence that recollection may be reduced for pain-paired words, as the proportion of correct Remember responses (out of total correct responses) was significantly lower. There were no significant reductions in memory for non-pain items that followed painful stimulation after a period of several seconds. Consistent with the experience of pain consuming working memory resources, we theorize that painful shocks interrupt memory encoding for the immediately preceding experimental items, due to a shift in attention away from the word item.

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the effect of experimentally delivered acute pain on memory. Twenty-five participants participated in experimental sessions on consecutive days. The first session involved a categorization task to encourage memory encoding. There were two conditions, presented in randomized order, in which participants listened to a series of words, which were repeated three times. In one condition, one-third of the word items were immediately followed by a painful electrical shock. This word-shock pairing was consistent across repetition and the pain-paired items were presented unpredictably. In the other condition, all word items were not associated with pain. Response times over these repeated presentations were assessed for differences. Explicit memory was tested the following day, employing a Remember–Know assessment of word recognition, with no shocks employed. We found evidence that recollection may be reduced for pain-paired words, as the proportion of correct Remember responses (out of total correct responses) was significantly lower. There were no significant reductions in memory for non-pain items that followed painful stimulation after a period of several seconds. Consistent with the experience of pain consuming working memory resources, we theorize that painful shocks interrupt memory encoding for the immediately preceding experimental items, due to a shift in attention away from the word item.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Neuroscience
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 November 2022
Deposited On:09 May 2023 11:04
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:36
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0014-4819
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-022-06467-8