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<p>Abstract:</p> <p>People can selectively remember important information when memory is impaired during aging, distraction or rushing. It is unclear what factors may impede this ability. We propose that individual differences in the neural systems responsible for producing habits, which are characterized by behavioral perseverance without regards to changes in the outcomes of the behavior, may similarly affect the ability of value to direct future remembering. To test this relationship, UCLA undergraduates (N = 88) performed an instrumental learning (IL) task that is known to sort people by habit or non-habit strategies and a value directed remembering paradigm in which they studied lists of words ranging in value from 1 to 10 points while completing a tone-identification task during half of the lists. Half the participants underwent acute stress induction prior to the memory task. Participants responded to validated measures of ELS and depression. Habits during the IL task, the acute stress manipulation, and depression all predicted impaired selectivity for value during subsequent recall. Results suggest the reliance on habits may reflect dysfunction of the neural mechanisms for computing value.</p>
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