The sensory recruitment hypothesis conceptualizes information in working memory as being activated representations of information in long-term memory. Accordingly, changes made to an item in working memory would be expected to influence its subsequent retention. Here, we tested the hypothesis that suppressing information from working memory, which can reduce short-term access to that information, may also alter its long-term neural representation. We obtained fMRI data (n = 25; 13 female / 12 male participants) while participants completed a working memory removal task with scene images as stimuli, followed by a final surprise recognition test of the examined items. We applied a multivariate pattern analysis to the data to quantify the engagement of suppression on each trial, to track the contents of working memory during suppression, and to assess representational changes afterward. Our analysis confirms previous reports that suppression of information in working memory involves focused attention to target and remove unwanted information. Furthermore, our findings provide new evidence that even a single dose of suppression of an item in working memory can (if engaged with sufficient strength) produce lasting changes in its neural representation, particularly weakening the unique, item-specific features, which leads to forgetting. Our study sheds light on the underlying mechanisms that contribute to the suppression of unwanted thoughts and highlights the dynamic interplay between working memory and long-term memory.

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