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INMI Symposium Discussion ICMPC 2012

Andrea Halpern Bucknell University Pennsylvania, USA


INMI and Memory


Similarities to “Flashbulb Memories” Generate…  Vivid  Autobiographical  Extend in time  Affective component  Social aspects 

◦ Memories include others ◦ Discussed with others 

Compelling memory experience


Dissimilar Flashbulbs  Single retrieval  Limited number

INMI  End cues beginning  Many and variable

â—Ś Shared in a culture

Distinctive trigger  Associated with trauma 

â—Ś Across and within people

Triggers variable  By and large pleasant 


Less Well Understood‌


Incidence Rate?  

Most report high incidence Halpern & Bartlett (2011) â—Ś 41 diarists over 2 weeks  780 reports â—Ś Range = 2-57 â—Ś Median = 1.7 per day

But do methods select for respondents and reports?  Embed in other tasks to reduce salience and social desirability 

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Verification? Difficult to verify  Voluntary imagery 

◦ Control stimuli ◦ Objective task  Does third note of Happy Birthday rise or fall?

Need correlates with INMI  Need to induce. How? 

◦ Idiosyncratic, but… ◦ Exposure ◦ Musical characteristics


Possible Correlates? 

Behavioral ◦ Effect on a second task ◦ Continuous measurement



Physiological ◦ Neural or peripheral ◦ Neural correlates of voluntary imagery ◦ Indices of repetition crucial



Long time spans will be a challenge


Veridical? 

Rubin & Talarico (Psychological Sci, 2003)



FBs no more accurate or durable than other memories â—Ś Conflicts in memories among participants


How to measure veridicality in INMI?  External pitch or tempo measure  Consistency over repetitions  Congruence with recorded version 

â—Ś Even NMs can match to recordings and be somewhat consistent over time â—Ś Production or choose pitch/tempo


Unique to Music? 

Other temporally extended memories ◦ Verbal or experiential



H&B (2012) ◦ 9/20 surveyed reported word earworms  But only a few diary entries

◦ Did not repeat ◦ Sayings, movie quotes, cheer, advertisement ◦ None unpleasant 

Design survey/diary to elicit these


Relationship to Pathology? Hallucinations vs. imagery  Possible intermediate states 

◦ Relation to aural and psychological issues

Important to distinguish wanted from unwanted  For latter, behavioral and pharmacological intervention 

◦ Yellow Submarine #2: “This song is starting to annoy me and I think I should memorize more words of it”. ◦ #4: “I like the song but I don't know the lyrics and it keeps appearing in my head.”


Age and Cohort? 

Priming ◦ Can increase with age ◦ Decline of inhibition ◦ So possible increase with age?



Cohort/Generation ◦ Continuous vs. periodic exposure to music


Thank You!


INMISymposiumHalpern_2012