Knowing more than you think you know: Maximising preserved memory in people with acquired memory deficits to enhance everyday learning and recall.

Todd, Mary (2015) Knowing more than you think you know: Maximising preserved memory in people with acquired memory deficits to enhance everyday learning and recall. PhD thesis, University of Bolton.

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Abstract

Implicit memory is generally preserved in people with organic memory damage and has been shown in laboratory studies to mediate diverse unconscious memory abilities. These include procedural skill acquisition and ‘priming’ which results in the recall of episodic information based purely on recent exposure - information which is differentially facilitated by the type of cue presented at retrieval. The work described in this thesis explores the optimisation of these retained aspects of memory, which have proved difficult to apply to the everyday lives of people with organic memory difficulty: first in the learning of new useful skills and secondly in the enhancement of episodic recall during everyday conversation. The first study, employed error-free learning, spaced repetition and individual coaching to teach two people with memory impairments to touch type to 30 words a minute, providing ecological validity to laboratory studies of skill learning in this group of people. The second study explored the hypothesis that implicit skill acquisition, gained under error-reduced conditions, may be further facilitated if explicit verbal instruction was withheld. There was no significant effect of omitting instructions. In a departure from skill-learning, a third study explored the effect of imaginal context reinstatement on free recall of a recent event. Also, for the first time, it investigated the cueing effect of different types of questions and verbal exchanges during a dyadic ‘questioning’ phase of a conversation about a recent event. There was no effect of context reinstatement on free recall. However, significantly more items where recalled in the dyadic phase using a protocol with predominantly open questions, over one containing a preponderance of closed questions. Across both conditions open questions were most effective as cues. Results provide ecological validity to laboratory findings from priming and cueing studies, suggesting that natural cues which arise spontaneously during conversation, can be manipulated to engender more recall. Theoretically, results of the cueing study indicate episodic memory failure is at least in part due to poor retrieval. Practically, tentative guidelines are presented for use by potential ‘conversation partners.’

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: An electronic version of the thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Bolton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Divisions: University of Bolton Theses > Psychology
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 15:09
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 14:49
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/896

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