On the Effect of Bilateral Eye Movements on Memory Retrieval in Ageing and Dementia

Polden, Megan and Crawford, Trevor (2022) On the Effect of Bilateral Eye Movements on Memory Retrieval in Ageing and Dementia. Brain Sciences, 2022 (12). ISSN 2076-3425

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It has been reported that performing bilateral eye movements for a short period can lead to an enhancement of memory retrieval and recall (termed the “saccade induced retrieval effect (SIRE)”). The source of this effect has been debated within the literature and the phenomenon has come under scrutiny as the robustness of the effect has recently been questioned. To date investigations of SIRE have largely been restricted to younger adult populations. Here, across two experiments, we assess the robustness and generalisability of the SIRE specifically in relation to disease and ageing. Experiment 1 employed a between subject’s design and presented younger and older participants with 36 words prior to completing one of three eye movement conditions (bilateral, antisaccade or a fixation eye movement). Participants then performed a word recognition task. Experiment 2 assessed the SIRE in individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Mild cognitive impairment and Parkinson’s by employing an online within subject’s design. Results showed no significant difference between groups in the number of words recognised based on eye movement condition. Neither experiment 1 or 2 replicated the SIRE effect therefore the findings from this study add to the growing number of studies that have failed to replicate the SIRE effect.

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Journal Article
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Brain Sciences
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Deposited On:
29 Sep 2022 10:05
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 02:53