The Japanese Journal of Cognitive Psychology
Online ISSN : 2185-0321
Print ISSN : 1348-7264
ISSN-L : 1348-7264
Active forgetting by retrieval stopping: 20 years of the Think/No-Think paradigm
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2022 Volume 20 Issue 1 Pages 21-41


Retrieval stopping refers to intentionally stopping the retrieval of memories, which has been investigated with the Think/No-Think (TNT) paradigm. In this article, after introducing the paradigm’s experimental procedure, we review the after-effects, mechanisms, modulatory factors of retrieval stopping. We also discuss the differences between retrieval stopping and thought suppression, highlighting the aspects of retrieval stopping that are critical to forgetting. Retrieval stopping not only induces the forgetting of target memories but it also influences various cognitive processes, including emotional responses that involve memory. It has been assumed that retrieval stopping entails domain-general reactive control functions that are involved in motor control and emotion regulation. However, the mechanisms that underlie forgetting by retrieval stopping remain unclear in contrast to those of retrieval stopping per se. Given the domain-general nature of its control mechanisms, a comprehensive understanding of retrieval stopping and its after-effects can contribute to elucidating the effects of motor control and emotion regulation, and eventually to yielding an integrative framework of cognitive control.

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© 2022 The Japanese Society for Cognitive Psychology
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