From generating to violating predictions: The effects of prediction error on episodic memory

Gözem Turan, Isabelle Ehrlich, Yee Lee Shing and Sophie Nolden

Generating predictions about environmental regularities, relying on these predictions, and updating these predictions when there is a violation from incoming sensory evidence are considered crucial functions of our cognitive system for being adaptive in the future. The violation of a prediction can result in a prediction error (PE) which affects subsequent memory processing. In our preregistered studies, we examined the effects of different levels of PE on episodic memory. Participants were asked to generate predictions about the associations between sequentially presented cue-target pairs, which were violated later with individual items in three PE levels, namely low, medium, and high PE. Hereafter, participants were asked to provide old/new judgments on the items with confidence ratings, and to retrieve the paired cues. Our results indicated a better recognition memory for low PE than medium and high PE levels, suggesting a memory congruency effect. On the other hand, there was no evidence of memory benefit for high PE level. Together, these novel and coherent findings strongly suggest that high PE does not guarantee better memory.

PsyArXiv Preprints  | V1 Last edited: January 14, 2023


episodic memorymemoryprediction errorpredictive processing
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