Induced forgetting occurs when accessing an item in memory appears to harm memory representations of categorically related items. However, it is possible that the actual memory representations are unharmed. Instead, people may just change how they make decisions. Specifically, signal detection theory suggests this apparent forgetting may be due to participants shifting their decision criterion. Here, we used behavioral and electrophysiological measures to determine whether induced forgetting is truly due to changes in how items are represented or simply due to a shifting criterion. Participants' behavior and brain activity showed that induced forgetting was due to changes in the strength of the underlying representations, weighing against a criterion shift explanation of induced forgetting.

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