In a new study to be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, the authors pinpoint the type of memory required to make common ground work and confirm that people with a particular type of amnesia have trouble making common ground in conversation.
People with declarative memory impairment (amnesia) have good memories of what happened before their amnesia started, but they can’t form new declarative memories. That’s the kind of memory for facts and events, like what they did yesterday or the name of a person they just met. They can still form non-declarative memories, like learning how to ride a bike or other skills, says Rachael Rubin of the University of Illinois. For this study, she worked with five people with declarative memory amnesia and five healthy people. Rubin cowrote the new paper with Sarah Brown-Schmidt and Neal Cohen of the University of Illinois and Melissa Duff and Daniel Tranel of the University of Iowa.
Rubin and her colleagues tested people on whether they could keep up with common ground in conversation. In one condition, the participant and experimenter sat facing each other, looking at back-to-back monitors. Each monitor showed a 3×3 grid, which looked like a real set of cubbyholes between the two people, with objects in each compartment. The participant could see right through the top row of compartments. The middle row was blocked off, and the bottom row was blocked at the back so the participant could see what was in the compartments but the experimenter couldn’t. The experimenter asked the participant: “What object is in the bottom left?” The participant would answer – “an elephant.” After 40 seconds of conversation about something else, the experimenter would say, “Look at the elephant.” The catch was, the participant had two elephants to choose from. Normal people looked to the elephant that had been referred to just previously. But people with amnesia looked equally at the two elephants, showing no benefit from the earlier portion of the conversation.
This suggests that declarative memory is required for keeping track of what’s going on in a conversation, even if it was something that was mentioned less than a minute ago. “Memory and language are related more than people thought before,” Rubin says. And it’s a reminder that people with amnesia don’t just have trouble with memory; their memory problems extend to other parts of their lives, like the ability to connect with other people through conversation.
For more information about this study, please contact: Rachael Rubin at email@example.com.
The APS journal Psychological Science is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology. For a copy of the article "How do I remember that I know you know that I know?" and access to other Psychological Science research findings, please contact Divya Menon at 202-293-9300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Divya Menon | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine