The effect of alcohol and repetition at encoding on implicit and explicit false memories

Garfinkel, S.N., Dienes, Zoltán and Duka, Theodora (2006) The effect of alcohol and repetition at encoding on implicit and explicit false memories. Psychopharmacology, 188 (4). pp. 498-508. ISSN 0033-3158

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Abstract

Rationale Alcohol impairs explicit memory, whilst leaving implicit memory relatively intact. Less is known about its effects on false memories. Aim The present study examines the effects of alcohol on explicit and implicit false memories using study list repetition as a tool for modulating learning at encoding. Methods Thirty-two participants were given either an alcohol (0.6 g/kg) or placebo beverage before undergoing an encoding phase consisting of 10 lists of nine associated words (veridical items). Each list was associated to a word, which was not presented at encoding (semantically associated non-studied lure; critical item), serving as the measure for false memory. Half of the lists were presented once, and half were repeated three times. The next day, participants underwent an implicit (stem completion and post hoc awareness measurements), and an explicit (free recall) task. Results Alcohol decreased veridical and false explicit memory for singularly presented lists compared to placebo; no group difference existed for repeated lists. Implicit veridical memory was not affected by alcohol. Awareness memory measures demonstrated in placebo participants an increased ability with repetition in rejecting false memories. The reverse was found in intoxicated participants who with repetition accepted more false memories. Conclusion Alcohol appears to decrease semantic activation leading to a decline in false memories. Increased learning with repetition, which increases the rejection of false memories under placebo, is reversed under alcohol leading to a decrease in rejection of false memories. The latter effect of alcohol may be due to its ability to impair monitoring processes established at encoding.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Zoltan Dienes
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:39
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 11:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13733

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