Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

, Volume 81, Issue 1, pp 237–252 | Cite as

Selection for encoding: No evidence of better endogenous orienting following forget than following remember instructions

  • Lindsay M. Rubinfeld
  • Tracy L. Taylor
  • Jeff P. Hamm


In an item-method directed forgetting task, attentional resources are withdrawn from forget item processing (e.g., Taylor & Fawcett in Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 73, 1790–1814, 2011). Taylor and Hamm (Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 78, 168–186, 2016) demonstrated that there is no corresponding increase in the proclivity for exogenous attention to be captured following a forget instruction. This means either that the attentional resources withdrawn from the forget item are reallocated immediately (and therefore not especially vulnerable to capture) or that it is not exogenous attention that is withdrawn. Given that endogenous attention is distinct from exogenous attention, we therefore extended the Taylor and Hamm study by using endogenous orienting rather than exogenous orienting. Words appeared individually in a peripheral location (Exp. 1) or in a central location (Exp. 2), followed by an instruction to either remember or forget. After a short (50-ms) or long (250-ms) interstimulus interval (ISI), a central cue (80% accurate) directed participants to allocate their attention to the left or right. This was followed by a discrimination target that appeared at a 1,000-ms cue–target stimulus onset asynchrony. A subsequent yes–no recognition test assessed memory for all study items. In both experiments, we observed better recognition of remember words than forget words—a directed forgetting effect. We also found a cueing effect, revealed as faster reaction times to discriminate cued targets than to discriminate uncued targets. There was not, however, an effect of memory instruction (and/or instruction–cue ISI) on the magnitude of this cueing effect. Thus, neither exogenous attention nor endogenous attention remains in an unengaged state following an instruction to forget.


Attention: interactions with memory Attention and memory Directed forgetting Endogenous attention Intentional forgetting 


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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lindsay M. Rubinfeld
    • 1
  • Tracy L. Taylor
    • 1
  • Jeff P. Hamm
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.School of PsychologyThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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