Examining ERP correlates of recognition memory: evidence of accurate source recognition without recollection.
ABSTRACT: Recollection is typically associated with high recognition confidence and accurate source memory. However, subjects sometimes make accurate source memory judgments even for items that are not confidently recognized, and it is not known whether these responses are based on recollection or some other memory process. In the current study, we measured event related potentials (ERPs) while subjects made item and source memory confidence judgments in order to determine whether recollection supported accurate source recognition responses for items that were not confidently recognized. In line with previous studies, we found that recognition memory was associated with two ERP effects: an early on-setting FN400 effect, and a later parietal old-new effect [late positive component (LPC)], which have been associated with familiarity and recollection, respectively. The FN400 increased gradually with item recognition confidence, whereas the LPC was only observed for highly confident recognition responses. The LPC was also related to source accuracy, but only for items that had received a high confidence item recognition response; accurate source judgments to items that were less confidently recognized did not exhibit the typical ERP correlate of recollection or familiarity, but rather showed a late, broadly distributed negative ERP difference. The results indicate that accurate source judgments of episodic context can occur even when recollection fails.
Project description:Separate event-related brain potential (ERP) components have been hypothesized to index familiarity and recollection processes that support recognition memory. A 300- to 500-ms mid-frontal FN400 old/new difference has been related to familiarity, whereas a 500- to 800-ms parietal old/new difference has been related to recollection. Other recent work has cast doubt on the FN400 familiarity hypothesis, especially its application to familiarity-based recognition of conceptually impoverished stimuli such as novel faces. Here we show that FN400 old/new differences can be observed with novel faces, and as predicted by the familiarity hypothesis, these differences are observed regardless of whether or not recognition is accompanied by the recollection of specific details from the study episode. Furthermore, FN400 differentiation between hits and misses is more consistent with an explicit familiarity process than an implicit memory process.
Project description:The Late Positive Complex (LPC) is an Event-Related Potential (ERP) consistently observed in recognition-memory paradigms. In the present study, we investigated whether the LPC tracks the strength of multiple types of memory signals, and whether it does so in a decision dependent manner. For this purpose, we employed judgements of cumulative lifetime exposure to object concepts, and judgements of cumulative recent exposure (i.e., frequency judgements) in a study-test paradigm. A comparison of ERP signatures in relation to degree of prior exposure across the two memory tasks and the study phase revealed that the LPC tracks both types of memory signals, but only when they are relevant to the decision at hand. Another ERP component previously implicated in recognition memory, the FN400, showed a distinct pattern of activity across conditions that differed from the LPC; it tracked only recent exposure in a decision-dependent manner. Another similar ERP component typically linked to conceptual processing in past work, the N400, was sensitive to degree of recent and lifetime exposure, but it did not track them in a decision dependent manner. Finally, source localization analyses pointed to a potential source of the LPC in left ventral lateral parietal cortex, which also showed the decision-dependent effect. The current findings highlight the role of decision making in ERP markers of prior exposure in tasks other than those typically used in studies of recognition memory, and provides an initial link between the LPC and the previously suggested role of ventral lateral parietal cortex in memory judgements.
Project description:Previous studies on the effects of emotional context on memory for centrally presented neutral items have obtained inconsistent results. And in most of those studies subjects were asked to either make a connection between the item and the context at study or retrieve both the item and the context. When no response for the contexts is required, how emotional contexts influence memory for neutral items is still unclear. Thus, the present study attempted to investigate the influences of four types of emotional picture contexts on recognition memory of neutral words using both behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measurements. During study, words were superimposed centrally onto emotional contexts, and subjects were asked to just remember the words. During test, both studied and new words were presented without the emotional contexts and subjects had to make "old/new" judgments for those words. The results revealed that, compared with the neutral context, the negative contexts and positive high-arousing context impaired recognition of words. ERP results at encoding demonstrated that, compared with items presented in the neutral context, items in the positive and negative high-arousing contexts elicited more positive ERPs, which probably reflects an automatic process of attention capturing of high-arousing context as well as a conscious and effortful process of overcoming the interference of high-arousing context. During retrieval, significant FN400 old/new effects occurred in conditions of the negative low-arousing, positive, and neutral contexts but not in the negative high-arousing condition. Significant LPC old/new effects occurred in all conditions of context. However, the LPC old/new effect in the negative high-arousing condition was smaller than that in the positive high-arousing and low-arousing conditions. These results suggest that emotional context might influence both the familiarity and recollection processes.
Project description:According to dual-process models, recognition memory depends on two neurocognitive mechanisms: familiarity, which has been linked to the frontal N400 (FN400) effect in studies using ERPs, and recollection, which is reflected by changes in the late positive complex (LPC). Recently, there has been some debate over the relationship between FN400 familiarity effects and N400 semantic effects. According to one view, these effects are one and the same. Proponents of this view have suggested that the frontal distribution of the FN400 could be due to stimulus concreteness: recognition memory experiments commonly use highly imageable or concrete words (or pictures), which elicit semantic ERPs with a frontal distribution. In the present study, we tested this claim using a recognition memory paradigm in which subjects memorized concrete and abstract nouns; half of the words changed font color between study and test. FN400 and LPC old/new effects were observed for abstract as well as concrete words, and were stronger over right hemisphere electrodes for concrete words. However, there was no difference in anteriority of the FN400 effect for the two word types. These findings challenge the notion that the frontal distribution of the FN400 old/new effect is fully explained by stimulus concreteness.
Project description:Encoding and retrieval processes in memory for pairs of pictures are thought to be influenced by inter-item similarity and by features of individual items. Using Event-Related Potentials (ERP), we aimed to identify how these processes impact on both the early mid-frontal FN400 and the Late Positive Component (LPC) potentials during associative retrieval of pictures. Twenty young adults undertook a sham task, using an incidental encoding of semantically related and unrelated pairs of drawings. At test, we conducted a recognition task in which participants were asked to identify target identical pairs of pictures, which could be semantically related or unrelated, among new and rearranged pairs. We observed semantic (related and unrelated pairs) and condition effects (old, rearranged and new pairs) on the early mid-frontal potential. First, a lower amplitude was shown for identical and rearranged semantically related pairs, which might reflect a retrieval process driven by semantic cues. Second, among semantically unrelated pairs, we found a larger negativity for identical pairs, compared to rearranged and new ones, suggesting additional retrieval processing that focuses on associative information. We also observed an LPC old/new effect with a mid-parietal and a right occipito-parietal topography for semantically related and unrelated old pairs, demonstrating a recollection phenomenon irrespective of the degree of association. These findings suggest that associative recognition using visual stimuli begins at early stages of retrieval, and differs according to the degree of semantic relatedness among items. However, either strategy may ultimately lead to recollection processes.
Project description:fMRI studies of recognition memory have often been interpreted to mean that the hippocampus selectively subserves recollection and that adjacent regions selectively subserve familiarity. Yet, many of these studies have confounded recollection and familiarity with strong and weak memories. In a source memory experiment, we compared correct source judgments (which reflect recollection) and incorrect source judgments (often thought to reflect familiarity) while equating for old-new memory strength by including only high-confidence hits in the analysis. Hippocampal activity associated with both correct source judgments and incorrect source judgments exceeded the activity associated with forgotten items and did so to a similar extent. Further, hippocampal activity was greater for high-confidence old decisions relative to forgotten items even when source decisions were at chance. These results identify a recollection signal in the hippocampus and may identify a familiarity signal as well. Similar results were obtained in the parahippocampal gyrus. Unlike in the medial temporal lobe, activation in prefrontal cortex increased differentially in association with source recollection.
Project description:Source memory tests typically require subjects to make decisions about the context in which an item was encoded and are thought to depend on recollection of details from the study episode. Although it is generally believed that familiarity does not contribute to source memory, recent behavioral studies have suggested that familiarity may also support source recognition when item and source information are integrated, or "unitized," during study (Diana, Yonelinas, and Ranganath, 2008). However, an alternative explanation of these behavioral findings is that unitization affects the manner in which recollection contributes to performance, rather than increasing familiarity-based source memory. To discriminate between these possibilities, we conducted an event-related potential (ERP) study testing the hypothesis that unitization increases the contribution of familiarity to source recognition. Participants studied associations between words and background colors using tasks that either encouraged or discouraged unitization. ERPs were recorded during a source memory test for background color. The results revealed two distinct neural correlates of source recognition: a frontally distributed positivity that was associated with familiarity-based source memory in the high-unitization condition only and a parietally distributed positivity that was associated with recollection-based source memory in both the high- and low-unitization conditions. The ERP and behavioral findings provide converging evidence for the idea that familiarity can contribute to source recognition, particularly when source information is encoded as an item detail.
Project description:In young adults, the neural correlates of successful recollection vary with the specificity (or amount) of information retrieved. We examined whether the neural correlates of recollection are modulated in a similar fashion in older adults. We compared event-related potential (ERP) correlates of recollection in samples of healthy young and older adults (N = 20 per age group). At study, participants were cued to make one of two judgments about each of a series of words. Subsequently, participants completed a memory test for studied and unstudied words in which they first made a Remember/Know/New (RKN) judgment, followed by a source memory judgment when a word attracted a 'Remember' (R) response. In young adults, the 'left parietal effect' - a putative ERP correlate of successful recollection - was largest for test items endorsed as recollected (R judgment) and attracting a correct source judgment, intermediate for items endorsed as recollected but attracting an incorrect or uncertain source judgment, and, relative to correct rejections, absent for items endorsed as familiar only (K judgment). In marked contrast, the left parietal effect was not detectable in older adults. Rather, regardless of source accuracy, studied items attracting an R response elicited a sustained, centrally maximum negative-going deflection relative to both correct rejections and studied items where recollection failed (K judgment). A similar retrieval-related negativity has been described previously in older adults, but the present findings are among the few to link this effect specifically to recollection. Finally, relative to correct rejections, all classes of correctly recognized old items elicited an age-invariant, late-onsetting positive deflection that was maximal over the right frontal scalp. This finding, which replicates several prior results, suggests that post-retrieval monitoring operations were engaged to an equivalent extent in the two age groups. Together, the present results suggest that there are circumstances where young and older adults engage qualitatively distinct retrieval-related processes during successful recollection.
Project description:We collected event-related potentials (ERPs) from 24 unmedicated adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and 24 controls during source memory retrieval. Words were encoded on the left or right during animacy and mobility judgments. Mobility judgments were slower than animacy judgments, suggesting deeper encoding. Participants then recalled the encoding judgment (Question cue) and position (Side cue) for each word. Depressed adults, but not controls, showed better accuracy for words from the mobility task presented under the Question vs. Side Cue. Furthermore, depressed adults showed larger left parietal ERPs to words from the mobility task presented under the Question vs. the Side Cue from 400 to 800?ms and 800-1400?ms. This ERP effect was negatively correlated with sleep quality. Thus, deep encoding followed by retrieval of the encoding judgment supported memory in MDD and augmented left parietal ERPs that have been linked to recollection and that appear sensitive to sleep disturbance.
Project description:Memory judgments can be based on accurate memory information or on decision bias (the tendency to report that an event is part of episodic memory when one is in fact unsure). Event related potentials (ERP) correlates are important research tools for elucidating the dynamics underlying memory judgments but so far have been established only for investigations of accurate old/new discrimination. To identify the ERP correlates of bias, and observe how these interact with ERP correlates of memory, we conducted three experiments that manipulated decision bias within participants via instructions during recognition memory tests while their ERPs were recorded. In Experiment 1, the bias manipulation was performed between blocks of trials (automatized bias) and compared to trial-by-trial shifts of bias in accord with an external cue (flexibly controlled bias). In Experiment 2, the bias manipulation was performed at two different levels of accurate old/new discrimination as the memory strength of old (studied) items was varied. In Experiment 3, the bias manipulation was added to another, bottom-up driven manipulation of bias induced via familiarity. In the first two Experiments, and in the low familiarity condition of Experiment 3, we found evidence of an early frontocentral ERP component at 320 ms poststimulus (the FN320) that was sensitive to the manipulation of bias via instruction, with more negative amplitudes indexing more liberal bias. By contrast, later during the trial (500-700 ms poststimulus), bias effects interacted with old/new effects across all three experiments. Results suggest that the decision criterion is typically activated early during recognition memory trials, and is integrated with retrieved memory signals and task-specific processing demands later during the trial. More generally, the findings demonstrate how ERPs can help to specify the dynamics of recognition memory processes under top-down and bottom-up controlled retrieval conditions.