Dissociating memory accessibility and precision in forgetting [ Registered Report Stage 1 - Protocol]

Forgetting involves the loss of information over time. While previous research has focussed on the rate of information loss, we know less about the form this loss takes. For example, are memory representations remembered with less precision, or do they instead become less accessible? Here we use ‘precision’ measures of memory, and probabilistic mixture models, to investigate the loss of both precision and accessibility of word-location associations over time. Importantly, we are able to directly compare these two measures by converting precision and accessibility into a common scale – information entropy. Using online testing, we will assess the extent to which forgetting is driven by a loss in either precision or accessibility. Further, we will assess how forgetting is modulated by shared content. Does learning multiple similar experiences decrease information loss for either precision or accessibility?