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No effects of eye movements on the encoding of the visuospatial sketchpad and the phonological loop in healthy participants: Possible implications for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Jan Scott


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Horizontal eye movement is an essential component of the psychological intervention "eye movement desensitization and reprocessing" (EMDR) used in posttraumatic stress disorder. A hypothesized mechanism of action is an overload of the visuospatial sketchpad and/or the phonological loop of the working memory.The aim is to explore how eye movements affect the information encoding of the visuospatial sketchpad and the phonological loop.Fifty healthy young adults performed two immediate recall tasks from the Wechsler Memory Scale: "Corsi Cubes" and "Digits". Using a within-participants design, up to 16 repetitions of eight seconds of eye-movement and an eye-rest condition were performed.There were no statistically significant differences between the eye movement and eye rest conditions for either recall task.In our sample of healthy participants, eye movements did not improve the immediate auditory and visual consolidation memory, undermining this hypothesized mechanism of action of EMDR. However, these findings might also be explained by our exclusion of tests that would stimulate autobiographical memory and our use of a non-clinical sample. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Navarro PN, Marini AM, Scott J, Landin-Romero R, Amann BL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Personality and Individual Differences

Year: 2013

Volume: 55

Issue: 8

Pages: 983-988

Print publication date: 01/11/2013

Online publication date: 29/08/2013

Acceptance date: 04/08/2013

ISSN (print): 0191-8869

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3549

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2013.08.005


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