Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How Do I Remember That I Know You Know That I Know?

25.08.2011
“I’ll meet you at the place near the thing where we went that time,” says the character Aaron in the 1987 movie Broadcast News. He and the woman he’s talking to have a lot of common ground, the shared territory that makes conversations work. Common ground is why, after you’ve mentioned Great-Aunt Mildred’s 80th birthday party once in a conversation, you can just refer to it as “the party.”

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 rrubin2@illinois.edu.

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 dmenon@psychologicalscience.org.

Divya Menon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psychologicalscience.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>