Schwabe and Wolf (2010)
Rodent studies suggest that memory reconsolidating is impaired by stress. Here we examined in healthy humans the effect of stress on the reconsolidation of autobiographical memories. Participants recalled positive, negative and neutral episodes from their recent past and afterward exposed to a stressor (socially evaluated cold pressor test) or a non-arousing control condition. Additional groups of participants were exposed to the stressor without prior memory reactivation or were neither stressed nor asked to recall episodes from their past. Stress after memory reactivation impaired the memory for the neutral episodes 1 week later....
How is the group that is not stressed and not reactivated (control) act as a control for time? Or rather what does "control for time" mean?
The researchers wrote "To control for the effect of time on memory, we had another control group that was not stressed and did not reactivate experiences from their past."
I understand that the group makes a good baseline for comparing other results to, but where does time come into it?
- Schwabe, L., & Wolf, O. T. (2010). Learning under stress impairs memory formation. Neurobiology of learning and memory, 93(2), 183-188. https://www.psy.uni-hamburg.de/arbeitsbereiche/kognitionspsychologie/publications/schwabe2010b-nlm.pdf