Recall at SARMAC 2015

On June 24-28 Recall researcher Dr Caterina Cinel attended SARMAC 2015, a biennial conference on applied memory and cognition. Researchers at the conference present work where psychological theories of memory and cognition are applied to real-word domains, such as law, education, advertising, politics, etc. At the conference, Caterina presented a poster showing the research carried out at Essex University in the last year on retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF). RIF is a well-studied phenomenon where retrieval practice of a subset of events can enhance their later recall, but can impair accessibility to related but unreviewed events. In seven experiments, Essex researchers C. Cinel and G. Ward show that we can manipulate factors that selectively amplify and/or attenuate the forgetting and enhancement of selected memories. However, whereas retrieval practice effects can be found with all stimuli, to date, evidence for RIF has been limited to semantic lab-based stimuli, while we found limited evidence of RIF with real-word, episodic stimuli.

The poster was very well received and during the presentation session many researchers have shown interest in our research and given valuable insight and comments.

Recall at PerDis 2015

Last week researchers from RECALL presented a series of papers, a tutorial and demonstration at the PerDis 2015 symposium in Saarbrucken, Germany.


The presence of ubiquitous displays (both in the environment and via personal devices such as smartwatches and Google Glass) provides many new opportunities for displaying memory cues to trigger recall. The PerDis symposium is focused on communication through and use of pervasive display systems in public and semi-public spaces and such displays have huge potential for helping to deliver memory cues in the future. However, presenting memory cues on public displays poses new challenges, and as part of our research into memory visualisation we are exploring these. For example, development of new scheduling architectures and personalisation models for memory augmentation through public displays.

At the PerDis symposium, our researchers presented their work in the domain of public displays and engaged in many interesting conversations with others who were excited about memory augmentation as a new application domain for digital signage and pervasive displays. We were really pleased to get such positive feedback and hope that this topic will continue to excite the community.

Reading Studies: Increasing Reading Speed and Comprehension

In RECALL we aim to augment human memory in several ways; one of which being the strand of semantic memory.  Therefore, we started looking into the design of knowledge acquisition points and – due to its prominence in learning and information consumption – reading.

With the advent of the information age and the creation of electronic reading devices – such as mobile phones, e-readers or tablets – our reading behavior has been changing and we are facing new challenges, one of which being information overload. We are bombarded with an abundance of text on a daily basis: news, emails, tweets, feeds, books, papers, articles, technical literature and pleasure readings. But our reading strategy has mainly remained the same.  Continue reading Reading Studies: Increasing Reading Speed and Comprehension

International Conference presentations

Two presentations from the Essex researchers working on RECALL have been accepted at key international memory conferences.

Geoff Ward will be presenting this May at CEMS 2015 (Context and Episodic Memory Symposium) in Philadelphia some of the retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) work from the RECALL grant. This conference is heavily theoretically driven, but includes work by Prof. Simon Dennis (University of Newcastle) who is presenting on experience-sampling in the wild, a line of research similar to the experience sampling (XPR) work that we are planning.

Caterina Cinel will give a presentation in June at SARMAC XI (Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition), in Victoria, BC, again about Retrieval Induced Forgetting in the real world. This conference is far more applied in outlook, and we are keen to see how our research is considered by those interested in such fields as eye-witness testimony, memory training, and the role of memory testing in education.

RECALL first-year review meeting

Figure 1: RECALL Logo

It has been more than a year since the project’s kick off in November 2013. On January 7, 2015, RECALL had it’s first-year project review meeting. The meeting took place at the University of Lancaster, where RECALL researchers from the all four sites gathered together to present our first-year results to the reviewers.

Most of the team members arrived in Lancaster already a day early, to spend all of January 6 preparing the meeting. Meeting preparations included a full dry run of the presentations and demos, as well as poster printing and handouts preparations. Continue reading RECALL first-year review meeting

Déjà vu – Technologies that make new Situations look Familiar

In this post we want to discuss the application of a concept known as Déjà vu; making use of its effects we envision technologies that make new situations and encounters more familiar and less threatening.

Going to new places, interacting with new people and carrying out new tasks is part of everyday life. New situations create a sense of excitement but in many cases also anxiety based on a fear of the unknown.

In RECALL we started exploring the use of peripheral displays to automatically provide  information about potential future experiences in order to allow people to learn incidentally and without conscious effort about new environments and people. The expectation is that having visual information provided, we can create a sense of déjà vu when people are in a new situation. We use the term déjà vu it a positive sense, following the definition of the Oxford dictionary: “feeling of having already experienced the present situation”. Continue reading Déjà vu – Technologies that make new Situations look Familiar

WAHM 2014: Workshop on Ubiquitous Technologies for Augmenting the Human Mind

Recall researchers Tilman Dingler, Nigel Davies, Albrecht Schmidt, Marc Langheinrich and Neils Henze recently collaborated with Kai Kunze (Osaka Prefecture University) to organise the WAHM Workshop on ubiquitous technologies for Augmenting the Human Mind. The workshop took place on September 14th in Seattle as part of the 2014 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp ’14).

WAHM brought together researchers and practitioners at the intersection of technology and cognitive psychology to explore current research and future visions for the augmentation of human memory and cognition. Over the course of the day a total of 9 research and position papers were presented, and a series of discussions explored key aspects of the research agenda. Continue reading WAHM 2014: Workshop on Ubiquitous Technologies for Augmenting the Human Mind

Recall-induced Forgetting and Intelligent Review

Suppose you could capture and process a synopsis of your day into an edited summary that you reviewed each night?

In Recall, we envisage an future in which technology can be used to help individuals actively maintain their memories through the review of recent experiences. For example, mobile devices, TV screens, heads-up displays and projectors could all be used as mechanisms for showing an “intelligent review” that summarised key events through video, email snippets, calendar events etc.

Recall researchers Geoff Ward and Caterina Cinel are beginning work on the intelligent review function of RECALL. What might we expect the mnemonic consequences to be of watching your daily synopsis on your later spontaneous ability to recall events from that day? Based on the laboratory phenomenon of retrieval–induced forgetting (RIF, see April 2014 post), one might expect increased access to the revised material but decreased access to related but not practiced events.

Continue reading Recall-induced Forgetting and Intelligent Review