Bilateral eye movements impair the encoding and enhance the retrieval of episodic memories
Engaging in bilateral saccadic eye movements (EMs) immediately prior to retrieval has been shown to enhance the retrieval of episodic, but not semantic, memories (Christman, Garvey, Propper, & Phaneuf, 2003; Christman, Propper, & Dion, 2004). The present study extended this paradigm by investigating the effect of EMs at encoding, as well as at retrieval. EMs prior to encoding led to a significant impairment in episodic recall ( p = .004), relative to no-EM controls. In contrast, in the absence of EMs at encoding, EMs at retrieval led to marginally better episodic recall ( p = .12). EM manipulations had no effects on tests of implicit and semantic memory. Thus, bilateral saccadic EMs impair versus enhance the encoding versus retrieval of episodic memories, respectively. Results are interpreted in terms of EM-induced increases in cholinergic activity (resulting in episodic memories being integrated into semantic networks) versus interhemispheric interaction (resulting in enhanced access to right-hemisphere–based retrieval mechanisms).
Original Work Citation
Christman, S. D., & Butler, M. (2005, November). Bilateral eye movements impair the encoding and enhance the retrieval of episodic memories. Presentation at the 46th Psychonomic Society Conference, Toronto, ON
“Bilateral eye movements impair the encoding and enhance the retrieval of episodic memories,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 24, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/18477.