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Natural Foundations of Enhanced Memory

Applicant Rothen Nicolas
Number 154954
Funding scheme Ambizione
Research institution Allgemeine Psychologie und Neuropsychologie Institut für Psychologie Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.05.2015 - 30.11.2018
Approved amount 600'000.00
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Keywords (10)

perception; psychophysics; electroencephalography; lifespan; individual differences; synaesthesia; training; experimental psychology; memory; cognition

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
In der Gedächtnisforschung konnten bisher viele Strategien zur Verbesserung der Gedächtnisleistung aufgezeigt werden. Jedoch ist bis heute relativ unklar, was aus psychologischer Sicht ein gutes Gedächtnis ausmacht, wenn keine Strategien angewendet werden können.
Lay summary

Jüngste Forschungsresultate weisen zunehmend darauf hin, dass Synästhesie mit einem spezifischen Profil erhöhter Gedächtnisleistungen in Verbindung steht. (Synästhesie bezeichnet ein Wahrnehmungsphänomen, bei welchem durch das Vorhandensein geeigneter Sinneswahrnehmungen zusätzliche Erlebnisse ausgelöst werden. Zum Beispiel lösen Buchstaben und/oder Zahlen bei Graphem-Farb Synästhetikern Farberlebnisse aus.) Der Gedächtnisvorteil bei Synästhetikern scheint nicht ausschliesslich auf der Grundlage von Gedächtnisstrategien erklärbar zu sein. Jedoch scheint es, als könnte man den Gedächtnisvorteil mit funktionalen und strukturellen Veränderungen im visuellen System des synästhetischen Gehirns am besten erklären. Dies macht auch im Zusammenhang mit gegenwärtigen Gedächtnistheorien, welche auf der Annahme eines Wahrnehmungs-Gedächtnis Kontinuums beruhen, sinn. Hauptziel des gegenwärtigen Forschungsprojekts ist es die Befunde aus der Gedächtnisforschung im Synästhesiebereich bei Nicht-Synästhetikern zu testen und auf die Allgemeinbevölkerung anzuwenden um herauszufinden, wie individuelle Unterschiede in der Wahrnehmung mit Gedächtnisleistungen in Zusammenhang stehen.

Das Projekt leistet einen Beitrag zum Verständnis individueller Unterschiede bei Gedächtnisleistungen und deren zustande kommen. Somit besteht im weiteren Sinne auch die Möglichkeit, dass das Projekt neue Grundlagen zur Prävention/Behandlung von Demenzen schafft.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 12.05.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Coordinated neural, behavioral, and phenomenological changes in perceptual plasticity through overtraining of synesthetic associations
Rothen Nicolas, Schwartzman David J., Bor Daniel, Seth Anil K. (2018), Coordinated neural, behavioral, and phenomenological changes in perceptual plasticity through overtraining of synesthetic associations, in Neuropsychologia, 111, 151-162.
Spontaneous retrieval reveals right ear advantage in prospective memory.
Rothen Nicolas, Meier Beat (2018), Spontaneous retrieval reveals right ear advantage in prospective memory., in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71(4), 940-948.
Different Dimensions of Cognitive Style in Typical and Atypical Cognition: New Evidence and a New Measurement Tool
Mealor Andy, Simner Julia, Rothen Nicolas, Carmichael Duncan, Ward Jamie (2016), Different Dimensions of Cognitive Style in Typical and Atypical Cognition: New Evidence and a New Measurement Tool, in PLOS ONE, e0155483.
The sensitivity and specificity of a diagnostic test of sequence-space synaesthesia
Rothen Nicolas, Jünemann Kristin, Mealor Andy, Burckhardt Vera, Ward Jamie (2016), The sensitivity and specificity of a diagnostic test of sequence-space synaesthesia, in Behavior Research Methods, 1476.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Peter Brugger / University of Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Anil Seth / University of Sussex Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Thomas Reber / FernUni Schweiz Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Mark Price / University of Bergen Norway (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Christoph Witzel / Universität Giessen Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Beat Meier / University of Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Jamie Ward / University of Sussex Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
13th annual meeting of Clinical Neuroscience Bern Poster Comparable benefits in perception and memory for colour synaesthetes and colour experts 25.05.2018 Bern, Switzerland Rothen Nicolas; Ovalle Fresa Rebecca;
13th annual meeting of Clinical Neuroscience Bern Poster Enhancing visual mental representations: a training study 25.05.2018 Bern, Switzerland Ovalle Fresa Rebecca; Rothen Nicolas;
13th annual meeting of Clinical Neuroscience Bern Poster Evidence for a perception memory continuum: an EEG study in a healthy population 25.05.2018 Bern, Switzerland Ovalle Fresa Rebecca;
International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society Poster Colour perception and colour memory in colour synaesthetes and colour experts: a comparison 10.05.2018 Amsterdam, Netherlands Rothen Nicolas; Ovalle Fresa Rebecca;
International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society Poster Training can enhance precision of color-representations in visual long-term memory 10.05.2018 Amsterdam, Netherlands Ovalle Fresa Rebecca; Rothen Nicolas;
60th Conference of Experimental Psychologists Talk given at a conference Training improves recall precision for colours of novel objects 11.03.2018 Marburg, Germany Rothen Nicolas; Ovalle Fresa Rebecca;
60th Conference of Experimental Psychologists Talk given at a conference Enhanced colour perception and memory for colours in grapheme-colour synaesthetes and colour experts 11.03.2018 Marburg, Germany Rothen Nicolas; Ovalle Fresa Rebecca;
59th Conference of Experimental Psychologists Talk given at a conference Time-of-day affects prospective memory differently in younger and older adults 26.03.2017 Dresden, Germany Rothen Nicolas;
6th International Conference on Memory Talk given at a conference Right ear advantage in prospective memory: the retrieval strategy makes the difference 17.07.2016 Budapest, Hungary Rothen Nicolas;
6th International Conference on Memory Talk given at a conference Evidence for a perception memory continuum: an EEG study in a healthy population 17.07.2016 Budapest, Hungary Ovalle Fresa Rebecca; Rothen Nicolas;
9th Conference of the United Kingdom Synaesthesia Association Poster Synaesthetic colour experiences are perceptually real 21.04.2016 Dublin, Ireland Rothen Nicolas;
9th Conference of the United Kingdom Synaesthesia Association Talk given at a conference Neural, behavioural, and phenomenological changes in training-induced synaesthesia 21.04.2016 Dublin, Ireland Rothen Nicolas;
9th Conference of the United Kingdom Synaesthesia Association. Poster Blue bananas: development of a task to investigate the representation of synaesthetic experiences 21.04.2016 Dublin, Ireland Rothen Nicolas; Ovalle Fresa Rebecca;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
145370 Perceptual functioning and memory performance: What is the link? 01.03.2013 Fellowships for advanced researchers

Abstract

Memory research identified various strategies to enhance performance. However, the foundations of naturally (“strategy free”) enhanced memory performance remain to be explored. Recent research provides increasing evidence that synaesthesia - a perceptual condition in otherwise healthy individuals - is associated with a specific profile of enhanced memory. Interestingly, the memory benefits in synaesthesia cannot be explained with conventional memory strategies. Instead, the advantage is best explained with functional and structural changes in the visual system of the synaesthetic brain on the basis of contemporary models of perception and memory. The primary goal of the proposed project is to test the insights from synaesthesia research on memory in the wider population of non-synaesthetic individuals to inform and advance current theories of memory. Specifically, it is investigated how individual differences in perception affect memory performance in young and healthy individuals, synaesthetes, by means of perceptual discrimination training, and across lifespan. Thus, the potential impact of the proposed project is far reaching and may provide for new strategies to tackle age related memory decline and dementia.
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