Tracy and Jarrod’s directed forgetting study published in JNeuro

Tracy and Jarrod’s article entitled “More is less: increased processing of unwanted memories facilitates forgetting” is now in press at the Journal of Neuroscience! This study uses fMRI and machine learning methods to show new evidence that intentional forgetting involves an enhancement of memory processing in sensory cortex to achieve directed forgetting of recent visual experiences. This enhancement temporarily boosts the activation of the memory representation and renders it vulnerable to disruption via homeostatic regulation. Contrary to intuition, deliberate forgetting may involve more rather than less attention to unwanted information.

Figure: Pattern classification of fMRI data from directed-forgetting task. Target-nontarget category classifier evidence for TBF (yellow) and TBR (black) trials. Classifier evidence scores were not shifted to account for hemodynamic lag. (Ribbon thickness indicates s.e.m. across participants, n = 20; *P = 6.789e-8.