Facilitation and impairment of event memory produced by photograph review

Wilma Koutstaal, Daniel L. Schacter, Marcia K. Johnson, Lissa Galluccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Selectively reviewing some items from a larger set of previously learned items increases memory for the items that are reviewed but may also be accompanied by a cost: Memory for the nonreviewed items may be impaired relative to cases where no review occurs at all. This cost to nonreviewed items has primarily been shown in contexts of verbal list learning and in situations where the reviewed and nonreviewed items are categorically or semantically related. Using a more naturalistic impetus to selective review- photographs relating to previously experienced events-we assessed whether the memory of older and younger adults for unrelated complex activities that they themselves had performed was also impaired due to nonreview. Both younger and older adults showed impaired memory for nonreviewed activities when tested with free recoil (Experiment 1), but not when tested with recognition or cued recall (Experiment 2). If mitigating retrieval cues are unavailable, selective review may impair memory for nonreviewed everyday events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-493
Number of pages16
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1999


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