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Effects of handedness & saccadic bilateral eye movements on the specificity of past autobiographical memory & episodic future thinking

Parker, A and Parkin, A and Dagnall, N (2017) Effects of handedness & saccadic bilateral eye movements on the specificity of past autobiographical memory & episodic future thinking. Brain and Cognition, 114. pp. 40-51. ISSN 0278-2626

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Abstract

© 2017 Elsevier Inc.The present research investigated the effects of personal handedness and saccadic eye movements on the specificity of past autobiographical memory and episodic future thinking. Handedness and saccadic eye movements have been hypothesised to share a common functional basis in that both influence cognition through hemispheric interaction. The technique used to elicit autobiographical memory and episodic future thought involved a cued sentence completion procedure that allowed for the production of memories spanning the highly specific to the very general. Experiment 1 found that mixed-handed (vs. right handed) individuals generated more specific past autobiographical memories, but equivalent numbers of specific future predictions. Experiment 2 demonstrated that following 30 s of bilateral (horizontal) saccades, more specific cognitions about both the past and future were generated. These findings extend previous research by showing that more distinct and episodic-like information pertaining to the self can be elicited by either mixed-handedness or eye movements. The results are discussed in relation to hemispheric interaction and top-down influences in the control of memory retrieval.

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