Publications by authors named "Maria Simmons"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Neural correlates of the production effect: An fMRI study.

Brain Cogn 2021 Jun 12;152:105757. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Memorial University of Newfoundland, Department of Psychology, St. John's, NL A1B 3X9, Canada. Electronic address:

Recognition memory is improved for items produced at study (e.g., by reading them aloud) relative to a non-produced control condition (e.g., silent reading). This production effect is typically attributed to the extra elements in the production task (e.g., motor activation, auditory perception) enhancing item distinctiveness. To evaluate this claim, the present study examined the neural mechanisms underlying the production effect. Prior to a recognition memory test, different words within a study list were read either aloud, silently, or while saying "check" (as a sensorimotor control condition). Production improved recognition, and aloud words yielded higher rates of both recollection and familiarity judgments than either silent or control words. During encoding, fMRI revealed stronger activation in regions associated with motor, somatosensory, and auditory processing for aloud items than for either silent or control items. These activations were predictive of recollective success for aloud items at test. Together, our findings are compatible with a distinctiveness-based account of the production effect, while also pointing to the possible role of other processing differences during the aloud trials as compared to silent and control.
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June 2021

A meta-analytic study examining the relationship between alexithymia and dissociation in psychiatric and nonclinical populations.

Res Psychother 2020 May 21;23(1):439. Epub 2020 May 21.

Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS, Canada.

Alexithymia and dissociation have been consistently linked in the literature, particularly in psychiatric populations. Both arise from a disconnection between conscious aspects of self-experiences and perceptions at both the mental self and bodily levels. This results in difficulty integrating thoughts, feelings and experiences into consciousness and memory, negatively impacting emotion awareness/regulation and reflective functioning. We conducted a meta-analysis to examine the strength of the relationship between alexithymia and dissociation in both clinical and non-clinical populations. Studies using two common measures of these constructs were included (., the Toronto Alexithymia Scale - TAS, and the Dissociative Experiences Scale - DES). Analyzing the effect sizes derived from 19 studies (including a total of 4664 participants) revealed moderate to strong relationships between alexithymia and dissociation. The strength of the association was higher in clinical and younger aged non clinical populations. These findings are discussed in the context of treatment recommendations..
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May 2020