RECALL presenting at ICOM, Budapest

Psychologists on the RECALL team, Prof Geoff Ward and Dr Caterina Cinel (University of Essex) are currently writing up the campus RECALL trials that were recently presented at the 6th International Conference on Memory (ICOM) in Budapest, Hungary on the 17-22 July 2016 – see

ICOM-6 is one of the largest memory conferences, and had over 1000 delegates from all over the world. Organised by Prof Martin Conway (City University, London, UK), it is particularly popular with memory researchers interested in autobiographical memory and memory in the real world, and also contained several sessions devoted to retrieval-induced forgetting.

We reported four large experiments (total N > 250 participants) that examined the extent to which a review of a subset of recently experienced real world events would increase later accessibility to the tested events (retrieval practice), but attenuate accessibility to related but unreviewed items (retrieval-induced forgetting, RIF). In these studies, all participants performed a campus tour or a campus scavenger hunt task, and either viewed or took photographic images of a number of objects on campus related to different locations or categories. Participants then practiced retrieving half the items from half these categories. Later, participants were then tested on the objects that they had viewed. Our data consistently showed that we could augment human memory through these reviews. We were able to show we could manipulate the schedules during the practice to maximise the recall of to-be-remembered memories and attenuate the recall of to-be-forgotten memories, and this occurred for both experimenter-selected and participant-selected items. Our findings suggest that an end of day review could lead to human memory augmentation.