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Cultural Differences in Associative Memory for Emotional Pictures Sin-Shuen, Chantelle Chin; Alaifan, Nada; Graf, Peter 2020-04

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Cultural Differences in Associative Memory for Emotional Pictures Chantelle Chin Sin-Shuen, Nada Alaifan, Peter Graf University of British Columbia   Contact: Chantelle Chin | Email: skye.phoenix.dove@gmail.com Participants: -  Malaysian Sample: young working adults in Malaysia -  Canad ian Samp le : unde rg radua te psychology students in UBC Stimuli: -  Stimuli from NAPS Database -  3 Valence Levels: Negative, Neutral, Positive  Procedure:  Study Phase:  -  90 pictures pairs (30 pairs per valence level) -  Each pair consists of 2 pictures of the same valence level -   Participants were tasked to make connections between the two pictures in each pair, then in a 6-point scale they rated how difficult was to make the connection INTRODUCTION Much research has shown that emotional materials are better remembered than neutral materials. However, research suggests a difference in memory for individuals from different cultures, most strikingly between Easterners and Westerners. Individuals from Western cultures tend to focus on object-based or self-focused details, while individuals from Eastern cultures tend to focus on context-based or group-relevant details. Based on this, we hypothesized that individuals from Eastern cultures may have better performance on associative memory tasks, and considered the possibility that the extent of facilitation due to valence may vary between cultures. METHOD Short Interval (~ 10 min): -  Participants completed filler tasks  Study Phase:  -  90 pictures pairs (30 Intact, 30 Re-paired, and 30 Old-New) -  Each of the 30 pair types consisted of 10 Negative Pairs, 10 Neutral Pairs, and 10 Positive Pairs -  Recognition associative memory task: Participants were tasked to identify Intact Pairs REFERENCES  1. Bergmann, H. C., Rijpkema, M., Fernandez, G., & Kessels, R. P. (2012). The effects of valence and arousal on associative  working memory and long-term memory. PLoS One, 7(12). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052616. 2. Gutchess, A. H., & Indeck, A. (2009). Cultural influences on memory. In Cultural Neuroscience: Cultural Influences on Brain Function (Vol. 178, pp. 137-150). Amsterdam: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/s0079-6123(09)17809-3. 3. Touryan, S. R., Marian, D. E., & Shimamura, A. P. (2007). Effect of negative emotional pictures on associative memory for peripheral information. Memory, 15(2), 154-166. doi: 10.1080/09658210601151310. Neutral pairs, instead of emotional pairs, are better remembered in both samples. This might be the effect of the higher level of arousal produced by the valenced stimuli. Accurate recognition response time is significantly faster for neutral pairs compared to emotional pairs, indicating that the participants were more sure of their answers. This could be because the valenced stimuli shared similar themes, confusing the participants, while the non-valenced stimuli were more distinct images. The absence of sex differences in associative recognition accuracy in both samples suggests that such effects do not occur on all episodic memory tests; such effects might show up on recall tests. These findings are inconsistent with previous evidence that emotional materials facilitate memory processes. Furthermore, these findings are consistent across participants from different cultural backgrounds.  Larger studies with more diverse cultural backgrounds are now warranted to confirm the findings of this study. Studies which control for the arousal or generality of the stimuli should also be conducted. RESULTS  Hits: Findings from both Canadian and Malaysian samples showed that hits were higher for neutral pairs, lower for positive pairs, and lower for negative pairs. No influence due to gender was found. There was a difference due to sex, but it showed up only in Canadian samples with neutral and negative pairs 0.60	  0.65	  0.70	  0.75	  0.80	  0.85	  0.90	  0.95	  1.00	  Nega.ve	   Neutral	   Posi.ve	  Hits	  Valence	  Level	  Female	  Male	  0.60	  0.65	  0.70	  0.75	  0.80	  0.85	  0.90	  0.95	  1.00	  Neg	   Neu	   Pos	  Hits	  Valence	  Level	  Female	  Male	  	  	   	  	  	  *	  	  *	  0.00	  0.05	  0.10	  0.15	  0.20	  0.25	  0.30	  Nega.ve	   Neutral	   Posi.ve	  False	  Alarms	  Valence	  Level	  Females	  Males	  0	  0.05	  0.1	  0.15	  0.2	  0.25	  0.3	  Nega.ve	   Neutral	   Posi.ve	  False	  Alarms	  Valence	  Level	  Females	  Males	  	  	  *	  *	  	  	  	  *	  	  *	  False Alarms: Participants from both cohorts had less false alarms for neutral pairs than for valenced pairs. There was a difference due to sex, but it showed up only in Canadian samples with positive and neutral pairs. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  How	  difficult	  to	  connect?	  ________________________________	  	  .	   	   1 	   2 	   3 	   4 	   5 	   6 	   .	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  Same	  as	  before?	  	  <-­‐	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  -­‐>	  .	   	   	   	   	   	   	   	   	   	   	   Yes	   	   No	   	   	   	   	   	   	   	   	   	   	   .	  Figure 1:  Correct Recognition of Intact Pairs in the Malaysian Sample  *The bars represent the 95 % confidence intervals   Figure 2:  Correct Recognition of Intact Pairs in the Canadian Sample Figure 3:  False Alarms for Repaired Pairs in the Malaysian Sample Figure 4:  False Alarrms for Repaired Pairs in the Canadian Sample Figure 5:  Recognition accuracy in the Malaysian Sample Figure 6:  Recognition accuracy in the Canadian Sample 0.2	  0.3	  0.4	  0.5	  0.6	  0.7	  0.8	  0.9	  1.0	  Nega.ve	   Neutral	   Posi.ve	  Propor5on	  Correct	  (Hits-­‐FA)	  Valence	  Level	  Females	  Males	  0.2	  0.3	  0.4	  0.5	  0.6	  0.7	  0.8	  0.9	  1	  Nega.ve	   Neutral	   Posi.ve	  Propor5on	  Correct	  (Hits-­‐FA)	  Valence	  Level	  Females	  Males	  Recognition Accuracy: Recognition accuracy for neutral pairs significantly better  than valenced pairs across both Canadian and Malaysian cohorts. No significant sex differences in both samples. DISCUSSION & CONCLUSION 500	  1000	  1500	  2000	  2500	  3000	  3500	  Nega.ve	   Neutral	   Posi.ve	  Response	  Time	  Valence	  Level	  Female	  Male	  500	  1000	  1500	  2000	  2500	  3000	  3500	  Nega.ve	   Neutral	   Posi.ve	  Response	  Time	  Valence	  Level	  Female	  Male	  Figure 7:  Response Time for Accurate Recognition of Intact and Repaired Pairs in the Malaysian Sample Figure 8:  Response Time for Accurate Recognition of Intact and Repaired Pairs in the Canadian Sample Accurate Recognition Decision Time: Participants from both samples showed that response time for neutral pairs is significantly lower than positive pairs. There were no significant sex differences in recognition decision time. 

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