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Effects of saccadic bilateral eye movements on episodic and semantic autobiographical memory fluency.

Parker, A and Parkin, A and Dagnall, N (2013) Effects of saccadic bilateral eye movements on episodic and semantic autobiographical memory fluency. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 7. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Performing a sequence of fast saccadic horizontal eye movements has been shown to facilitate performance on a range of cognitive tasks, including the retrieval of episodic memories. One explanation for these effects is based on the hypothesis that saccadic eye movements increase hemispheric interaction, and that such interactions are important for particular types of memory. The aim of the current research was to assess the effect of horizontal saccadic eye movements on the retrieval of both episodic autobiographical memory (event/incident based memory) and semantic autobiographical memory (fact based memory) over recent and more distant time periods. It was found that saccadic eye movements facilitated the retrieval of episodic autobiographical memories (over all time periods) but not semantic autobiographical memories. In addition, eye movements did not enhance the retrieval of non-autobiographical semantic memory. This finding illustrates a dissociation between the episodic and semantic characteristics of personal memory and is considered within the context of hemispheric contributions to episodic memory performance.

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