Publications by authors named "Christopher Madan"

96 Publications

Transfer of negative valence in an episodic memory task.

Cognition 2021 Aug 12;217:104874. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Emotion can color what we perceive and subsequently remember in myriad ways. Indeed, it is well established that emotion enhances some aspects of memory, while impairing others. For example, a number of recent episodic memory studies show that emotion-particularly negative emotion-weakens associative memory, including item-item associations. Other literature shows that emotion biases our later attitudes and preferences. That is, the coincident pairing of a negative stimulus with a neutral one can reduce one's preference for that neutral stimulus upon subsequent encounter-a 'transfer of valence' effect. In an effort to connect these two phenomena, here we ask if and under what circumstances they co-occur. Across multiple experiments, we show that negative emotion impairs associative memory for item-item pairings, in accordance with prior work. We also show a transfer of valence effect in this paradigm, such that items paired with negative versus neutral stimuli are subsequently rated as less pleasant. Our data further show that transfer of valence is contingent on episodic memory. These findings highlight the complexity and multifaceted nature of emotional effects on memory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104874DOI Listing
August 2021

Sulcal characteristics patterns and gyrification gradient at different stages of Anorexia Nervosa: A structural MRI evaluation.

Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 2021 Aug 3;316:111350. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Department of Neurosciences, University of Padua, Padova, Italy; Padua Neuroscience Center, University of Padua, Padova, Italy.

Previous research evidenced alterations of different cortical parameters in patients with acute Anorexia Nervosa (AN), but no study to date investigated the morphology of individual sulci and their relationship with other structural indices. Our study aims at exploring the depth and width of 16 major cortical sulci in AN at different stages of the disorder and their relationships with the gyrification gradient. Two samples were included in the study. The first involved 38 patients with acute AN, 20 who fully recovered from AN, and 38 healthy women (HW); the second included 16 patients with AN and 16 HW. Sulcal width and depth were estimated for 16 sulci and outlined with a factorial analysis. An anterior-posterior gradient of gyrification was also extracted. Compared to HW, patients with acute AN displayed higher width and depth values in specific cortical sulci, and an altered gyrification gradient in areas encompassing the Central Sulcus, and Parieto-Temporal and Frontal Lobe regions. Sulcal width negatively correlated with gyrification gradient in areas where these values are altered in AN patients. Our results suggest the presence of alterations in sulcal morphology with a pattern similar to the gyrification gradient one and which seems to be related with malnutrition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pscychresns.2021.111350DOI Listing
August 2021

Individual conscious and unconscious perception of emotion: Theory, methodology and applications.

Conscious Cogn 2021 09 28;94:103172. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom.

In this manuscript we review a seminal debate related to subliminality and concerning the relationship of consciousness, unconsciousness, and perception. We present the methodological implementations that contemporary psychology introduced to explore this relationship, such as the application of unbiased self-report metrics and Bayesian analyses for assessing detection and discrimination. We present evidence concerning an unaddressed issue, namely, that different participants and stimulus types require different thresholds for subliminal presentation. We proceed to a step-by-step experimental illustration of a method involving individual thresholds for the presentation of masked emotional faces. We show that individual thresholds provide Bayesian evidence for null responses to the presented faces. Conversely, we show in the same database that when applying established but biased non-individual criteria for subliminality physiological changes occur and relate - correctly, and most importantly incorrectly - to perception concerning the emotional type, and the valence and intensity of a presented masked emotional face.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2021.103172DOI Listing
September 2021

A brief primer on the PhD supervision relationship.

Eur J Neurosci 2021 08 28;54(4):5229-5234. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.

Becoming a successful academic and securing a principal investigator (PI) position at a research-intensive university requires many distinct skills. Beyond some form of technical skills and domain-specific knowledge, some of these skills include time management, scientific writing, public speaking, and project management. Training prior to the PI position involved some of these latter skills, and perhaps even some degree of trainee supervision, but PhD-level supervision and the associated responsibilities do not arrive until one becomes a PI. Many academic skills are learned 'on the job', but few more so than PhD supervision. While I myself have limited PhD supervision experience, I have reviewed the literature on PhD student-supervisor relationship and here present a brief primer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejn.15396DOI Listing
August 2021

Exploring the Facets of Emotional Episodic Memory: Remembering "What," "When," and "Which".

Psychol Sci 2021 Jul 23;32(7):1104-1114. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

School of Psychology, University of Nottingham.

Our memories can differ in quality from one event to the next, and emotion is one important explanatory factor. Still, the manner in which emotion impacts episodic memory is complex: Whereas emotion enhances some aspects of episodic memory-particularly central aspects-it dampens memory for peripheral/contextual information. Extending previous work, we examined the effects of emotion on one often overlooked aspect of memory, namely, temporal context. We tested whether emotion would impair memory for when an event occurred. Participants ( = 116 adults) watched videos wherein negative and neutral images were inserted. Consistent with prior work, results showed that emotion enhanced and impaired memory, respectively, for "what" and "which." Unexpectedly, emotion was associated with enhanced accuracy for "when": We found that participants estimated that neutral images occurred relatively later, but there was no such bias for negative images. By examining multiple features of episodic memory, we provide a holistic characterization of the myriad effects of emotion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797621991548DOI Listing
July 2021

T2 heterogeneity as an in vivo marker of microstructural integrity in medial temporal lobe subfields in ageing and mild cognitive impairment.

Neuroimage 2021 09 9;238:118214. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, Learning & Research Building at Southmead Hospital, Bristol BS10 5NB, UK; Clinical Neurosciences, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK.

A better understanding of early brain changes that precede loss of independence in diseases like Alzheimer's disease (AD) is critical for development of disease-modifying therapies. Quantitative MRI, such as T2 relaxometry, can identify microstructural changes relevant to early stages of pathology. Recent evidence suggests heterogeneity of T2 may be a more informative MRI measure of early pathology than absolute T2. Here we test whether T2 markers of brain integrity precede the volume changes we know are present in established AD and whether such changes are most marked in medial temporal lobe (MTL) subfields known to be most affected early in AD. We show that T2 heterogeneity was greater in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI; n = 49) compared to healthy older controls (n = 99) in all MTL subfields, but this increase was greatest in MTL cortices, and smallest in dentate gyrus. This reflects the spatio-temporal progression of neurodegeneration in AD. T2 heterogeneity in CA1-3 and entorhinal cortex and volume of entorhinal cortex showed some ability to predict cognitive decline, where absolute T2 could not, however further studies are required to verify this result. Increases in T2 heterogeneity in MTL cortices may reflect localised pathological change and may present as one of the earliest detectible brain changes prior to atrophy. Finally, we describe a mechanism by which memory, as measured by accuracy and reaction time on a paired associate learning task, deteriorates with age. Age-related memory deficits were explained in part by lower subfield volumes, which in turn were directly associated with greater T2 heterogeneity. We propose that tissue with high T2 heterogeneity represents extant tissue at risk of permanent damage but with the potential for therapeutic rescue. This has implications for early detection of neurodegenerative diseases and the study of brain-behaviour relationships.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118214DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8350145PMC
September 2021

Science of Learning Strategy Series: Article 2, Retrieval Practice.

J Contin Educ Health Prof 2021 04;41(2):119-123

Mr. Thomas J. Van Hoof, MD, EdD: Associate Professor, University of Connecticut School of Nursing, Storrs, and Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT. Mr. Christopher R. Madan, PhD: Assistant Professor, School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom. Ms. Megan A. Sumeracki, PhD: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Rhode Island College, Rhode Island, United Kingdom.

Abstract: Retrieval practice is an evidence-based, science of learning strategy that is relevant to the planning and implementation of continuing professional development (CPD). Retrieval practice requires one to examine long-term memory to work with priority information again in working memory. Retrieval practice improves learning in two ways. It improves memory for the information itself (direct benefit), and retrieval practice provides feedback about what needs additional effort (indirect). Both benefits contribute significantly to durable learning. Research from cognitive psychology and neuroscience provides the rationale for retrieval practice, and examples of its implementation in health professions education are increasingly available in the literature. Through appropriate utilization, CPD participants can benefit from retrieval practice by making more-informed educational choices, and CPD planners can benefit in efforts to improve educational activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CEH.0000000000000335DOI Listing
April 2021

Mu oscillations and motor imagery performance: A reflection of intra-individual success, not inter-individual ability.

Hum Mov Sci 2021 Aug 26;78:102819. Epub 2021 May 26.

Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada; Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Mu oscillations (8-13 Hz), recorded over the human motor cortex, have been shown to consistently suppress during both the imagination and performance of movements; however, its functional significance in the imagery process is currently unclear. Here we examined human electroencephalographic (EEG) oscillations in the context of motor imagery performance as measured by imagery success within participants and imagery ability between participants. We recorded continuous EEG activity while participants performed the Test of Ability in Movement Imagery (TAMI), an objective test of motor imagery task. Results demonstrated that mu oscillatory activity significantly decreased during successful as compared to unsuccessful imagery trials. However, the extent of reduction in mu oscillations did not correlate with overall imagery ability as measured by the total TAMI score. These findings provide further support for the involvement of mu oscillations in indexing motor imagery performance and suggest that mu oscillations may reflect important processes related to imagery accuracy, processes likely related to those underlying overt motor production and motor understanding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2021.102819DOI Listing
August 2021

Scan Once, Analyse Many: Using Large Open-Access Neuroimaging Datasets to Understand the Brain.

Neuroinformatics 2021 May 11. Epub 2021 May 11.

School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK.

We are now in a time of readily available brain imaging data. Not only are researchers now sharing data more than ever before, but additionally large-scale data collecting initiatives are underway with the vision that many future researchers will use the data for secondary analyses. Here I provide an overview of available datasets and some example use cases. Example use cases include examining individual differences, more robust findings, reproducibility-both in public input data and availability as a replication sample, and methods development. I further discuss a variety of considerations associated with using existing data and the opportunities associated with large datasets. Suggestions for further readings on general neuroimaging and topic-specific discussions are also provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12021-021-09519-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8111663PMC
May 2021

Encoding Context Determines Risky Choice.

Psychol Sci 2021 05 28;32(5):743-754. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Psychology, University of Warwick.

Both memory and choice are influenced by context: Memory is enhanced when encoding and retrieval contexts match, and choice is swayed by available options. Here, we assessed how context influences risky choice in an experience-based task in two main experiments (119 and 98 participants retained, respectively) and two additional experiments reported in the Supplemental Material available online (152 and 106 participants retained, respectively). Within a single session, we created two separate contexts by presenting blocks of trials in distinct backgrounds. Risky choices were context dependent; given the same choice, people chose differently depending on other outcomes experienced in that context. Choices reflected an overweighting of the most extreme outcomes within each local context rather than the global context of all outcomes. When tested in the nontrained context, people chose according to the context at encoding and not retrieval. In subsequent memory tests, people displayed biases specific to distinct contexts: Extreme outcomes from each context were more accessible and judged as more frequent. These results pose a challenge for theories of choice that rely on retrieval as guiding choice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797620977516DOI Listing
May 2021

Cerebellar tDCS Alters the Perception of Optic Flow.

Cerebellum 2021 Aug 25;20(4):606-613. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Psychology, MacEwan University, Edmonton, Canada.

Studies have shown that the cerebellar vermis is involved in the perception of motion. However, it is unclear how the cerebellum influences motion perception. tDCS is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that can reduce (through cathodal stimulation) or increase neuronal excitability (through anodal stimulation). To explore the nature of the cerebellar involvement on large-field global motion perception (i.e., optic flow-like motion), we applied tDCS on the cerebellar midline while participants performed an optic flow motion discrimination task. Our results show that anodal tDCS improves discrimination threshold for optic flow perception, but only for left-right motion in contrast to up-down motion discrimination. This result was evident within the first 10 min of stimulation and was also found post-stimulation. Cathodal stimulation did not have any significant effects on performance in any direction. The results show that discrimination of optic flow can be improved with tDCS of the cerebellar midline and provide further support for the role of the human midline cerebellum in the perception of optic flow.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12311-021-01245-8DOI Listing
August 2021

Investigating the effects of healthy cognitive aging on brain functional connectivity using 4.7 T resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Brain Struct Funct 2021 May 18;226(4):1067-1098. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Functional changes in the aging human brain have been previously reported using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Earlier resting-state fMRI studies revealed an age-associated weakening of intra-system functional connectivity (FC) and age-associated strengthening of inter-system FC. However, the majority of such FC studies did not investigate the relationship between age and network amplitude, without which correlation-based measures of FC can be challenging to interpret. Consequently, the main aim of this study was to investigate how three primary measures of resting-state fMRI signal-network amplitude, network topography, and inter-network FC-are affected by healthy cognitive aging. We acquired resting-state fMRI data on a 4.7 T scanner for 105 healthy participants representing the entire adult lifespan (18-85 years of age). To study age differences in network structure, we combined ICA-based network decomposition with sparse graphical models. Older adults displayed lower blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal amplitude in all functional systems, with sensorimotor networks showing the largest age differences. Our age comparisons of network topography and inter-network FC demonstrated a substantial amount of age invariance in the brain's functional architecture. Despite architecture similarities, old adults displayed a loss of communication efficiency in our inter-network FC comparisons, driven primarily by the FC reduction in frontal and parietal association cortices. Together, our results provide a comprehensive overview of age effects on fMRI-based FC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00429-021-02226-7DOI Listing
May 2021

Emotional arousal impairs association memory: roles of prefrontal cortex regions.

Learn Mem 2021 03 16;28(3):76-81. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.

The brain processes underlying impairing effects of emotional arousal on associative memory were previously attributed to two dissociable routes using high-resolution fMRI of the MTL (Madan et al. 2017). Extrahippocampal MTL regions supporting associative encoding of neutral pairs suggested unitization; conversely, associative encoding of negative pairs involved compensatory hippocampal activity. Here, whole-brain fMRI revealed prefrontal contributions: dmPFC was more involved in hippocampal-dependent negative pair learning and vmPFC in extrahippocampal neutral pair learning. Successful encoding of emotional memory associations may require emotion regulation/conflict resolution (dmPFC), while neutral memory associations may be accomplished by anchoring new information to prior knowledge (vmPFC).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/lm.052480.120DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7888235PMC
March 2021

Convergent and Distinct Effects of Multisensory Combination on Statistical Learning Using a Computer Glove.

Front Psychol 2020 13;11:599125. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Learning to play a musical instrument involves mapping visual + auditory cues to motor movements and anticipating transitions. Inspired by the serial reaction time task and artificial grammar learning, we investigated explicit and implicit knowledge of statistical learning in a sensorimotor task. Using a between-subjects design with four groups, one group of participants were provided with visual cues and followed along by tapping the corresponding fingertip to their thumb, while using a computer glove. Another group additionally received accompanying auditory tones; the final two groups received sensory (visual or visual + auditory) cues but did not provide a motor response-all together following a 2 × 2 design. Implicit knowledge was measured by response time, whereas explicit knowledge was assessed using probe tests. Findings indicate that explicit knowledge was best with only the single modality, but implicit knowledge was best when all three modalities were involved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.599125DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7838435PMC
January 2021

"Speak of the Devil… and he Shall Appear": Religiosity, Unconsciousness, and the Effects of Explicit Priming in the Misperception of Immorality.

Psychol Res 2021 Jan 23. Epub 2021 Jan 23.

School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.

Psychological theory and research suggest that religious individuals could have differences in the appraisal of immoral behaviours and cognitions compared to non-religious individuals. This effect could occur due to adherence to prescriptive and inviolate deontic religious-moral rules and socio-evolutionary factors, such as increased autonomic nervous system responsivity to indirect threat. The latter thesis has been used to suggest that immoral elicitors could be processed subliminally by religious individuals. In this manuscript, we employed masking to test this hypothesis. We rated and pre-selected IAPS images for moral impropriety. We presented these images masked with and without negatively manipulating a pre-image moral label. We measured detection, moral appraisal and discrimination, and physiological responses. We found that religious individuals experienced higher responsivity to masked immoral images. Bayesian and hit-versus-miss response analyses revealed that the differences in appraisal and physiological responses were reported only for consciously perceived immoral images. Our analysis showed that when a negative moral label was presented, religious individuals experienced the interval following the label as more physiologically arousing and responded with lower specificity for moral discrimination. We propose that religiosity involves higher conscious perceptual and physiological responsivity for discerning moral impropriety but also higher susceptibility for the misperception of immorality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00426-020-01461-7DOI Listing
January 2021

Structural complexity is negatively associated with brain activity: a novel multimodal test of compensation theories of aging.

Neurobiol Aging 2021 02 14;98:185-196. Epub 2020 Nov 14.

School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.

Fractal dimensionality (FD) measures the complexity within the folds and ridges of cortical and subcortical structures. We tested the degree that FD might provide a new perspective on the atrophy-compensation hypothesis: age or disease-related atrophy causes a compensatory neural response in the form of increased brain activity in the prefrontal cortex to maintain cognition. Brain structural and functional data were collected from 63 middle-aged and older adults and 18 young-adult controls. Two distinct patterns of FD were found that separated cortical from subcortical structures. Subcortical FD was more strongly negatively correlated with age than cortical FD, and cortical FD was negatively associated with brain activity during memory retrieval in medial and lateral parietal cortices uniquely in middle-aged and older adults. Multivariate analyses revealed that the lower FD/higher brain activity pattern was associated with poorer cognition-patterns not present in young adults, consistent with compensation. Bayesian analyses provide further evidence against the modal interpretation of the atrophy-compensation hypothesis in the prefrontal cortex-a key principle found in some neurocognitive theories of aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.10.023DOI Listing
February 2021

Deliberate Practice in Simulation-Based Surgical Skills Training: A Scoping Review.

J Surg Educ 2021 Jul-Aug;78(4):1328-1339. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Background: In recent years there has been a shift from traditional Halstedian methods toward more simulation-based medical education (SBME) for developing surgical skills. Questions remain about the role and value of SBME, although feedback and engagement in repetitive practice have been associated with positive learning outcomes. Regardless of approach, the principles of deliberate practice align with both the Halstedian traditions and ways of implementing SBME. Whilst deliberate practice is well described in the wider literature, the extent to which it is an effective instructional approach in surgical training remains unknown.

Objective: To explore the effectiveness of deliberate practice as an instructional design for developing surgical skills through SBME interventions, as assessed by improvements in trainee performance and/or patient outcomes.

Methods: A combined search was conducted in PUBMED, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PSYCHINFO, and Google Scholar. Three hundred one articles were screened and 17 met the inclusion criteria for analysis.

Results: There was heterogeneity of study methods with 6 randomized control trials, 7 pretest/post-test design, 2 nonrandomized comparisons and 2 observational studies. All articles demonstrated positive learner outcomes following SBME with deliberate practice, although there was no direct comparison to another instructional method. Two studies demonstrated skill transfer to the clinical environment and 1 demonstrated improved patient outcomes.

Conclusion: Deliberate practice informed SBME interventions appeared effective for developing surgical skills among trainee surgeons, however the reliability of these conclusions was limited by the modest quality of the research studies and the design elements of deliberate practice were inconsistently applied. There was little evidence that deliberate practice led to skills retention beyond 30 days, although participant numbers were low and the quality of studies was modest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.11.008DOI Listing
June 2021

Age-related decrements in cortical gyrification: Evidence from an accelerated longitudinal dataset.

Eur J Neurosci 2021 03 23;53(5):1661-1671. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.

Cortical gyrification has been found to decrease due to aging, but thus far this has only been examined in cross-sectional samples. Interestingly, the topography of these age-related differences in gyrification follows a distinct gradient along the cortex relative to age effects on cortical thickness, likely suggesting a different underlying neurobiological mechanism. Here I examined several aspects of gyrification in an accelerated longitudinal dataset of 280 healthy adults aged 45-92 with an interval between first and last MRI sessions of up to 10 years (total of 815 MRI sessions). Results suggest that age changes in sulcal morphology underlie these changes in gyrification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejn.15039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7979529PMC
March 2021

Rethinking the definition of episodic memory.

Can J Exp Psychol 2020 Sep;74(3):183-192

School of Psychology, University of Nottingham.

The definition of episodic memory, as proposed by Tulving, includes a requirement of conscious recall. As we are unable to assess this aspect of memory in nonhuman animals, many researchers have referred to demonstrations of what would otherwise be considered episodic memory as "episodic-like memory." Here the definition of episodic memory is reconsidered based on objective criteria. While the primary focus of this reevaluation is based on work with nonhuman animals, considerations are also drawn from converging evidence from cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, and cognitive neuroscience. Implications of this rethinking are discussed, as well as considerations of familiarity, indirect measures of memory, and generally what should be viewed as necessary for episodic memory. This perspective is intended to begin an iterative process within the field to redefine the meaning of episodic memory and to ultimately establish a consensus view. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/cep0000229DOI Listing
September 2020

Into a new decade.

Behav Res Methods 2021 02 19;53(1):1-3. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13428-020-01497-yDOI Listing
February 2021

Exploring word memorability: How well do different word properties explain item free-recall probability?

Psychon Bull Rev 2021 Apr 15;28(2):583-595. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

School of Psychology, University Park, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK.

What makes some words more memorable than others? Words can vary in many dimensions, and a variety of lexical, semantic, and affective properties have previously been associated with variability in recall performance. Free recall data were used from 147 participants across 20 experimental sessions from the Penn Electrophysiology of Encoding and Retrieval Study (PEERS) data set, across 1,638 words. Here, I consider how well 20 different word properties-across lexical, semantic, and affective dimensions-relate to free recall. Semantic dimensions, particularly animacy (better memory for living), usefulness (with respect to survival; better memory for useful), and size (better memory for larger) demonstrated the strongest relationships with recall probability. These key results were then examined and replicated in the free recall data from Lau, Goh, and Yap (Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71, 2207-2222, 2018), which had 532 words and 116 participants. This comprehensive investigation of a variety of word memorability demonstrates that semantic and function-related psycholinguistic properties play an important role in verbal memory processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13423-020-01820-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8062370PMC
April 2021

Age-related differences in myeloarchitecture measured at 7 T.

Neurobiol Aging 2020 12 22;96:246-254. Epub 2020 Aug 22.

Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK; School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK. Electronic address:

We have used the magnetisation transfer (MT) MRI measure as a primary measure of myelination in both the gray matter (GM) of the 78 cortical automated anatomical labeling (AAL) regions of the brain, and the underlying white matter in each region, in a cohort of healthy adults (aged 19-62 year old). The results revealed a significant quadratic trend in myelination with age, with average global myelination peaking at 42.9 year old in gray matter, and at 41.7 year old in white matter. We also explored the possibility of using the Nuclear Overhauser Enhancement (NOE) effect, which is acquired in a similar method to MT, as an additional measure of myelination. We found that the MT and NOE signals were strongly correlated in the brain and that the NOE effects displayed similar (albeit weaker) parabolic trends with age. We also investigated differences in cortical thickness with age, and confirmed a previous result of a linear decline of 4.5 ± 1.2 μm/y.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.08.009DOI Listing
December 2020

Science of Learning Strategy Series: Article 1, Distributed Practice.

J Contin Educ Health Prof 2021 01;41(1):59-62

Dr. Van Hoof: Associate Professor, University of Connecticut School of Nursing, Storrs, CT and Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT. Dr. Sumeracki: Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Rhode Island College. Dr. Madan: Assistant Professor, School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Abstract: Distributed practice is an evidence-based, learning-science strategy that is relevant to the planning and implementation of continuing professional development (CPD). Spacing-out study or practice over time allows the brain multiple opportunities to process new and complex information in an efficient way, thus increasing the likelihood of mastery and memory. Research from cognitive psychology and neuroscience provide the rationale for distributed practice, and examples of its implementation in health professions education have begun to appear in the literature. If used appropriately or extended creatively, some common CPD interventions can fully leverage distributed practice. Through increased understanding, CPD planners can benefit from distributed practice in efforts to improve educational activities, and CPD participants can benefit by making more informed educational choices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CEH.0000000000000315DOI Listing
January 2021

Special issue for cognition on social, motivational, and emotional influences on memory.

Cognition 2020 12 29;205:104464. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

University of Nottingham, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104464DOI Listing
December 2020

Development and decay of procedural skills in surgery: A systematic review of the effectiveness of simulation-based medical education interventions.

Surgeon 2021 Aug 28;19(4):e67-e77. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

University of Nottingham, UK. Electronic address:

Context: Changes to surgical training programmes in the UK has led to a reduction in theatre time for trainees, and an increasing reliance on simulation to provide procedural experience. Whilst simulation offers opportunity for repetitive practice, the effectiveness of simulation as an educational intervention for developing procedural surgical skills is unclear.

Methods: A systematic literature review was undertaken to retrieve all studies describing simulation-based medical education (SBME) interventions for the development of procedural surgical skills using the MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, EMBASE and PUBMED databases. Studies measuring skill retention or demonstrating transferability of skills for improving patient outcomes were included in the review.

Results: SBME is superior to no training and can lead to improvement in procedural surgical skills, such that skills transfer from simulated environments into theatre. SBME results in minimal skill degradation after 2 weeks, although more significant decay results after >90 days. Many studies recruited <10 participants, used a variety of methods and were restricted to endoscopic surgical techniques. All studies did not compare interventions with non-SBME teaching methods for developing procedural surgical skills. No studies compared the curriculum design of different surgical training programmes.

Conclusions: SBME interventions are effective for developing procedural skills in surgery. SBME interventions are also effective for preventing the decay of procedural surgical skills. Although no studies demonstrate non-inferiority of SBME interventions compared to time in theatre developing skills, SBME interventions do enable the transfer of skills into theatre, and the potential for improving patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surge.2020.07.013DOI Listing
August 2021

Semi-automated transcription and scoring of autobiographical memory narratives.

Behav Res Methods 2021 04;53(2):507-517

Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, 2136 West Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada.

Autobiographical memory studies conducted with narrative methods are onerous, requiring significant resources in time and labor. We have created a semi-automated process that allows autobiographical transcribing and scoring methods to be streamlined. Our paper focuses on the Autobiographical Interview (AI; Levine, Svoboda, Hay, Winocur, & Moscovitch, Psychology and Aging, 17, 677-89, 2002), but this method can be adapted for other narrative protocols. Specifically, here we lay out a procedure that guides researchers through the four main phases of the autobiographical narrative pipeline: (1) data collection, (2) transcribing, (3) scoring, and (4) analysis. First, we provide recommendations for incorporating transcription software to augment human transcribing. We then introduce an electronic scoring procedure for tagging narratives for scoring that incorporates the traditional AI scoring method with basic keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Word. Finally, we provide a Python script that can be used to automate counting of scored transcripts. This method accelerates the time it takes to conduct a narrative study and reduces the opportunity for error in narrative quantification. Available open access on GitHub ( https://github.com/cMadan/scoreAI ), our pipeline makes narrative methods more accessible for future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13428-020-01437-wDOI Listing
April 2021

Cortical Complexity in Anorexia Nervosa: A Fractal Dimension Analysis.

J Clin Med 2020 Mar 19;9(3). Epub 2020 Mar 19.

Department of Neurosciences, University of Padua, Via Giustiniani, 2-35128 Padova, Italy.

Fractal Dimension (FD) has shown to be a promising means to describe the morphology of cortical structures across different neurologic and psychiatric conditions, displaying a good sensitivity in capturing atrophy processes. In this study, we aimed at exploring the morphology of cortical areas by means of FD in 58 female patients with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) (38 currently underweight and 20 fully recovered) and 38 healthy controls (HC). All participants underwent high-resolution MRI. Surface extraction was completed using FreeSurfer, FD was computed using the calcFD toolbox. The whole cortex mean FD value was lower in acute AN patients compared to HC ( < 0.001). Recovered AN patients did not show differences in the global FD when compared to HC. However, some brain areas showed higher FD in patients than controls, while others showed the opposite pattern. Parietal regions showed lower FD in both AN groups. In acute AN patients, the FD correlated with age ( < 0.001), body mass index ( = 0.019) and duration of illness ( = 0.011). FD seems to represent a feasible method to explore cortical complexity in patients with AN since it demonstrated to be sensitive to the effects of both severity and duration of malnutrition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030833DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7141241PMC
March 2020

Affect enhances object-background associations: evidence from behaviour and mathematical modelling.

Cogn Emot 2020 08 16;34(5):960-969. Epub 2020 Feb 16.

Department of Psychology, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC, USA.

In recognition memory paradigms, emotional details are often recognised better than neutral ones, but at the cost of memory for peripheral details. We previously provided evidence that, when peripheral details must be recalled using central details as cues, peripheral details from emotional scenes are at least as likely to be recalled as those from neutral scenes. Here we replicated and explicated this result by implementing a mathematical modelling approach to disambiguate the influence of target type, scene emotionality, scene valence, and their interactions. After incidentally encoding scenes that included neutral backgrounds with a positive, negative, or neutral foreground objects, participants showed equal or better cued recall of components from emotional scenes compared to neutral scenes. There was no evidence of emotion-based impairment in cued recall in either of two experiments, including one in which we replicated the emotion-induced memory trade-off in recognition. Mathematical model fits indicated that the emotionality of the encoded scene was the primary driver of improved cued-recall performance. Thus, even when emotion impairs recognition of peripheral components of scenes, it can preserve the ability to recall which scene components were studied together.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2019.1710110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7381356PMC
August 2020

Effects of winning cues and relative payout on choice between simulated slot machines.

Addiction 2020 09 25;115(9):1719-1727. Epub 2020 Mar 25.

Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

Background And Aims: Cues associated with winning may encourage gambling. We assessed the effects on risky choice of slot machine of: (1) neutral sounds paired with winning, (2) casino-related cues (such as the sound of coins dropping and pictures of dollar signs) and (3) relative payouts.

Design: Experimental studies in which participants repeatedly chose between safer and riskier simulated slot machines. Safer slot machines paid the same amount regardless of which symbols lined up. Risky machines paid different amounts depending on which symbols lined up. Effects of initially neutral sounds paired with the best payout were assessed between-groups (experiment 1a) and within-participants (experiment 1b). In experiment 2, pairing of casino-related audiovisual cues with payout was assessed within participants, and cue timing was assessed between groups.

Setting: A university research laboratory in Edmonton, Canada.

Participants: Undergraduate students (n = 630 across three experiments).

Measurements: Preference for riskier over safer machines, preference between machines that differed in cues, payout recall and frequency estimates for payouts. Risky choice was calculated as the proportion of choices of the risky machine when presented with a fixed machine of the same expected value.

Findings: In experiment 1a, risky choice was slightly increased by pairing a sound with the best payout compared with pairing the sound with a lower payout (P = 0.04, d = 0.28) but not compared with no sound [P = 0.36, d = 0.13, Bayes factors (BF)  = 0.22]. In experiment 1b, people did not prefer a machine with a best-payout sound over one with a lower-payout sound (P = 0.67, d = 0.03, BF  = 0.11). Relative payout affected choice: risky choices were higher for high- than low-payout decisions (P < 0.001, d = 0.53). In experiment 2, people preferred machines with casino-related cues paired with winning (P < 0.001, r  = 0.11) and cue timing (at choice or concurrently with the win) had no effect (P = 0.95, r  = 0.0, BF  = 0.05). Casino-related cues also enhanced payout memory (P = 0.013 and 0.006). Cue effects were not specific to risk: people also preferred fixed-payout machines with casino-related cues (P < 0.001, r  = 0.16).

Conclusions: In a gambling simulation, student participants chose more risky slot machines when payouts were relatively higher and when casino-related cues were associated with payouts. Pairing a neutral sound with the best payout did not consistently affect slot machine choice, and the effect of casino cues did not depend on their timing. Casino-related cues enhanced payout memory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/add.15010DOI Listing
September 2020
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