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Deconstructing the posterior medial episodic network

In press
Ritchey, M.* & Cooper, R. A.*
Trends in Cognitive Sciences; * equal contribution
Publication year: 2020

Our ability to remember or imagine specific events involves the construction of complex mental representations, a process that engages cortical and hippocampal regions in a core posterior medial (PM) brain network. Existing theoretical approaches have described the overarching contributions of the PM network, but less is known about how episodic content is represented and transformed throughout this system. Here, we review evidence of key functional interactions among PM regions and their relation to the core cognitive operations and representations supporting episodic construction. Recent demonstrations of intra-network functional diversity are integrated with existing accounts to inform a network-based model of episodic construction, in which PM regions flexibly share and manipulate event information to support the variable phenomenology of episodic memory and simulation.

A database of news videos for investigating the dynamics of emotion and memory

In press
Samide, R., Cooper, R. A., & Ritchey, M.
Behavior Research Methods, doi:10.3758/s13428-019-01327-w
Publication year: 2019

Emotional experiences are known to be both perceived and remembered differently from non-emotional experiences, often leading to heightened encoding of salient visual details and subjectively vivid recollection. The vast majority of previous studies have used static images to investigate how emotional event content modulates cognition, yet natural events unfold over time. Therefore, little is known about how emotion dynamically modulates continuous experience. Here, we report a norming study wherein we develop a new stimulus set of 126 emotionally negative, positive, and neutral videos depicting real-life news events. Participants continuously rated the valence of each video during its presentation and judged the overall emotional intensity and valence at the end of each video. In a subsequent memory test, participants reported how vividly they could recall the video details and estimated each video?s duration. We report data on the affective qualities and subjective memorability of each video. The results replicate the well established effect that emotional experiences are more vividly remembered than non-emotional experiences. Importantly, this novel stimulus set will facilitate research into the temporal dynamics of emotional processing and memory.