Influence of Propositional Density on Formation and Retention of Episodic Memories



Booth, Aaron B

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Episodic memory (EM) plays a pivotal role in our daily lives, allowing us to remember distinct events throughout our lifetime. However, EM is susceptible to normal aging and neuropathology, raising the question of whether we can improve EM by training. This thesis examined the influence EM training has on EM formation and retrieval and on fluid intelligence (Gf), as well as the role working memory (WM), and propositional density plays in EM training. 62 young adults were randomly assigned to experimental (EM training) or control conditions (no EM training). Stories written by the experimental group were analyzed for propositional density scores. EM, WM, Gf, and attention were then recorded both before and after training sessions for both groups. We found evidence of EM improvement from training, as well as WM ability being able to influence EM training performance. Findings related to propositional density showed mixed results, although there was some evidence of propositional density increasing throughout EM training. These findings allow us to gain a better understanding of the underlying processes of EM training, as well as its relationship to WM and propositional density.



Propositional density, Episodic memory, Episodic memory training, Working memory, Fluid intelligence