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Interactions between emotional attention, encoding, and retrieval of ambiguous information: an eye-tracking study

Jonas Everaert (UGent) and Ernst Koster (UGent)
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Abstract
Attention and memory are components of human cognition intricately related to emotional well-being. The emotional biases in attention and memory have conventionally been studied as separate topics such that the interactions between these processes are poorly understood. Despite recent advances in knowledge on how attention at encoding regulates emotional long-term memory (e.g., Everaert, Duyck, & Koster, 2014; Talmi & McGarry, 2012), little is known about the role of attention during emotional memory retrieval. This study (Everaert & Koster, in press at Emotion) investigated how emotional biases in memory are related to biases in different attentional mechanisms during retrieval. Forty-nine individuals encoded emotionally positive and negative meanings derived from ambiguous information (items presented in a scrambled sentences test; Wenzlaff & Bates, 1998), and then searched their memory for encoded meanings in response to a set of retrieval cues. The remember/know/new procedure was used to classify memories as recollection- or familiarity-based (Tulving, 1985; Yonelinas, Aly, Wang, & Koen, 2010 ), and gaze behavior was monitored throughout the tasks to measure attentional allocation. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that a bias in sustained attention during recollection-based, but not familiarity-based, retrieval predicted subsequent memory bias toward positive vs. negative material even after controlling for encoding bias. Thus, during emotional memory retrieval, attention affects controlled forms of retrieval (i.e., recollection), but does not modulate relatively automatic, familiarity-based retrieval. These findings enhance understanding of how distinct components of attention regulate the emotional content of memories. Implications for theoretical models and emotion regulation will be discussed.

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MLA
Everaert, Jonas, and Ernst Koster. “Interactions Between Emotional Attention, Encoding, and Retrieval of Ambiguous Information: An Eye-tracking Study.” 49th Annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Convention, Abstracts. 2015. Print.
APA
Everaert, Jonas, & Koster, E. (2015). Interactions between emotional attention, encoding, and retrieval of ambiguous information: an eye-tracking study. 49th annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies convention, Abstracts. Presented at the 49th annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies convention.
Chicago author-date
Everaert, Jonas, and Ernst Koster. 2015. “Interactions Between Emotional Attention, Encoding, and Retrieval of Ambiguous Information: An Eye-tracking Study.” In 49th Annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Convention, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Everaert, Jonas, and Ernst Koster. 2015. “Interactions Between Emotional Attention, Encoding, and Retrieval of Ambiguous Information: An Eye-tracking Study.” In 49th Annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Convention, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Everaert J, Koster E. Interactions between emotional attention, encoding, and retrieval of ambiguous information: an eye-tracking study. 49th annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies convention, Abstracts. 2015.
IEEE
[1]
J. Everaert and E. Koster, “Interactions between emotional attention, encoding, and retrieval of ambiguous information: an eye-tracking study,” in 49th annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies convention, Abstracts, Chicago, USA, 2015.
@inproceedings{7003696,
  abstract     = {Attention and memory are components of human cognition intricately related to emotional well-being. The emotional biases in attention and memory have conventionally been studied as separate topics such that the interactions between these processes are poorly understood. Despite recent advances in knowledge on how attention at encoding regulates emotional long-term memory (e.g., Everaert, Duyck, & Koster, 2014; Talmi & McGarry, 2012), little is known about the role of attention during emotional memory retrieval. This study (Everaert & Koster, in press at Emotion) investigated how emotional biases in memory are related to biases in different attentional mechanisms during retrieval. Forty-nine individuals encoded emotionally positive and negative meanings derived from ambiguous information (items presented in a scrambled sentences test; Wenzlaff & Bates, 1998), and then searched their memory for encoded meanings in response to a set of retrieval cues. The remember/know/new procedure was used to classify memories as recollection- or familiarity-based (Tulving, 1985; Yonelinas, Aly, Wang, & Koen, 2010 ), and gaze behavior was monitored throughout the tasks to measure attentional allocation. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that a bias in sustained attention during recollection-based, but not familiarity-based, retrieval predicted subsequent memory bias toward positive vs. negative material even after controlling for encoding bias. Thus, during emotional memory retrieval, attention affects controlled forms of retrieval (i.e., recollection), but does not modulate relatively automatic, familiarity-based retrieval. These findings enhance understanding of how distinct components of attention regulate the emotional content of memories. Implications for theoretical models and emotion regulation will be discussed.},
  author       = {Everaert, Jonas and Koster, Ernst},
  booktitle    = {49th annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies convention, Abstracts},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Chicago, USA},
  title        = {Interactions between emotional attention, encoding, and retrieval of ambiguous information: an eye-tracking study},
  year         = {2015},
}