Cognitive control depletion reduces pre-stimulus and recollection-related measures of strategic retrieval.
ABSTRACT: Background: The ability to strategically retrieve task-relevant information from episodic memory is thought to rely on goal-directed executive processes, and there is evidence that neural correlates of strategic retrieval are sensitive to reserves of cognitive control. The present study extended this work, exploring the role of cognitive control in the flexible orienting of strategic retrieval processes across alternating retrieval goals. Method: Pre-stimulus cues directed participants to endorse memory targets from one of two encoding contexts, with the target encoding context alternating every two trials. Items from the nontarget encoding context were rejected alongside new items. One group of participants completed a Stroop task prior to the memory test in order to deplete their reserves of cognitive control, while a second group performed a control task. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded throughout the memory task, and time-locked to both pre-stimulus cues and memory probes. Results: Control participants' pre-stimulus ERPs showed sustained divergences at frontal electrode sites according to retrieval goal. This effect was evident on the first trial of each memory task, and linked with the initiation of goal-specific retrieval orientations. Control participants also showed enhanced ERP correlates of recollection (the 'left parietal effect') for correctly classified targets relative to nontargets on the second trial of each memory task, indexing strategic retrieval of task-relevant information. Both the pre-stimulus index of retrieval orientation and the target/nontarget left parietal effect were significantly attenuated in participants that completed the Stroop task. Conclusions: The reduction of pre-stimulus and stimulus-locked ERP effects following the Stroop task indicates that available reserves of cognitive control play an important role in both proactive and recollection-related aspects of strategic retrieval.
Project description:Neural evidence for the strategic retrieval of task-relevant 'target' memories at the expense of less relevant 'nontarget' memories has been demonstrated across a wide variety of studies. In ERP studies, this evidence consists of the ERP correlate of recollection (i.e. the 'left parietal old/new effect') being evident for targets and attenuated for nontargets. It is not yet known, however, whether this degree of strategic control can be extended to emotionally valenced words, or whether these items instead reactivate associated memories. The present study used a paradigm previously employed to demonstrate the strategic retrieval of neutral words (Herron & Rugg, Psychonomic Bulletin and & Review, 10(3), 703--710, 2003b) to assess the effects of stimulus valence on behavioural and event-related potential (ERP) measures of strategic retrieval. While response accuracy and reaction times associated with targets were unaffected by valence, negative nontargets and new items were both associated with an elevated false alarm rate and longer RTs than their neutral equivalents. Both neutral and negative targets and nontargets elicited early old/new effects between 300 and 500 ms. Critically, whereas neutral and negative targets elicited robust and statistically equivalent left parietal old/new effects between 500 and 800 ms, these were absent for neutral and negative nontargets. A right frontal positivity associated with postretrieval monitoring was evident for neutral targets versus nontargets, for negative versus neutral nontargets, and for targets versus new items. It can therefore be concluded that the recollection of negatively valenced words is subject to strategic control during retrieval, and that postretrieval monitoring processes are influenced by emotional valence.
Project description:How do separate neural networks interact to support complex cognitive processes such as remembrance of the personal past? Autobiographical memory (AM) retrieval recruits a consistent pattern of activation that potentially comprises multiple neural networks. However, it is unclear how such large-scale neural networks interact and are modulated by properties of the memory retrieval process. In the present functional MRI (fMRI) study, we combined independent component analysis (ICA) and dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to understand the neural networks supporting AM retrieval. ICA revealed four task-related components consistent with the previous literature: 1) medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) network, associated with self-referential processes, 2) medial temporal lobe (MTL) network, associated with memory, 3) frontoparietal network, associated with strategic search, and 4) cingulooperculum network, associated with goal maintenance. DCM analysis revealed that the medial PFC network drove activation within the system, consistent with the importance of this network to AM retrieval. Additionally, memory accessibility and recollection uniquely altered connectivity between these neural networks. Recollection modulated the influence of the medial PFC on the MTL network during elaboration, suggesting that greater connectivity among subsystems of the default network supports greater re-experience. In contrast, memory accessibility modulated the influence of frontoparietal and MTL networks on the medial PFC network, suggesting that ease of retrieval involves greater fluency among the multiple networks contributing to AM. These results show the integration between neural networks supporting AM retrieval and the modulation of network connectivity by behavior.
Project description:Optimal memory retrieval depends not only on the fidelity of stored information, but also on the attentional state of the subject. Factors such as mental preparedness to engage in stimulus processing can facilitate or hinder memory retrieval. The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to distinguish preparatory brain activity before episodic and semantic retrieval tasks from activity associated with retrieval itself. A catch-trial imaging paradigm permitted separation of neural responses to preparatory task cues and memory probes. Episodic and semantic task preparation engaged a common set of brain regions, including the bilateral intraparietal sulcus (IPS), left fusiform gyrus (FG), and the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA). In the subsequent retrieval phase, the left IPS was among a set of frontoparietal regions that responded differently to old and new stimuli. In contrast, the right IPS responded to preparatory cues with little modulation during memory retrieval. The findings support a strong left-lateralization of retrieval success effects in left parietal cortex, and further indicate that left IPS performs operations that are common to both task preparation and memory retrieval. Such operations may be related to attentional control, monitoring of stimulus relevance, or retrieval.
Project description:Neural activity preceding memory probes differs according to retrieval goals. These divergences have been linked to retrieval orientations, which are content-specific memory states that bias retrieval towards specific contents. Here, participants were cued to retrieve either spatial location or encoding operations. On the first trial of each memory task ('switch' trials), preparatory ERPs preceding correct source memory judgments differed according to retrieval goal, but this effect was absent preceding memory errors. Initiating appropriate retrieval orientations therefore predicted criterial recollection. Preparatory ERPs on the second trial of each memory task (i.e. 'stay' trials) also differed according to retrieval goal, but the polarity of this effect was reversed from that observed on switch trials and the effect did not predict memory accuracy. This was interpreted as a correlate of retrieval orientation maintenance, with initiation and maintenance forming dissociable components of these goal-directed memory states. More generally, these findings highlight the importance of pre-retrieval processes in episodic memory.
Project description:Increasing recent research has sought to understand the recollection impairments experienced by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we tested whether these memory deficits reflect a reduction in the probability of retrieval success or in the precision of memory representations. We also used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the neural mechanisms underlying memory encoding and retrieval in ASD, focusing particularly on the functional connectivity of core episodic memory networks. Adults with ASD and typical control participants completed a memory task that involved studying visual displays and subsequently using a continuous dial to recreate their appearance. The ASD group exhibited reduced retrieval success, but there was no evidence of a difference in retrieval precision. fMRI data revealed similar patterns of brain activity and functional connectivity during memory encoding in the 2 groups, though encoding-related lateral frontal activity predicted subsequent retrieval success only in the control group. During memory retrieval, the ASD group exhibited attenuated lateral frontal activity and substantially reduced hippocampal connectivity, particularly between hippocampus and regions of the fronto-parietal control network. These findings demonstrate notable differences in brain function during episodic memory retrieval in ASD and highlight the importance of functional connectivity to understanding recollection-related retrieval deficits in this population.
Project description:The Relational and Item-Specific Encoding task (RISE) was designed to assess contributions of specific encoding and retrieval processes to episodic memory in schizophrenia. This manuscript describes how a cognitive neuroscience functional imaging paradigm was translated for clinical research.The RISE manipulates encoding by requiring participants to decide whether stimuli are "living/nonliving" (item-specific) or whether one stimulus fits inside the other (relational) and estimates familiarity (F) and recollection (R) by examining receiver operator characteristics (ROC) and assessing item and associative recognition. Two studies examined psychometric characteristics and tested the hypothesis that patients have differential deficits in relational vs item-specific encoding and disproportionate impairments in recollection vs familiarity.Study 1, using visual objects, provided support for the encoding hypotheses and revealed good internal consistency and alternate forms reliability, with small differences between test forms. ROC analysis revealed R and F deficits, with F deficits most prominent following relational encoding. Study 2 used word stimuli, which lowered item recognition, but patients had difficulty understanding task demands, and words were less desirable for non-English speaking clinical trials, leading to the decision to proceed with the original task.The RISE is a valid and reliable measure of item-specific and relational memory that is well tolerated, with good psychometric characteristics and equivalent forms to facilitate treatment studies. Results indicate that episodic memory in schizophrenia is most preserved under conditions promoting item-specific encoding that is supported by familiarity-based recognition and is most impaired under relational encoding and recollection-based retrieval conditions.
Project description:Our ability to make predictions and monitor regularities has a profound impact on the way we perceive the environment, but the effect this mechanism has on memory is not well understood. In four experiments, we explored the effects on memory of the expectation status of information at encoding or at retrieval. In a rule-learning task participants learned a contingency relationship between 6 different symbols and the type of stimulus that followed each one. Either at encoding (Experiments 1a and 1b) or at retrieval (Experiments 2a and 2b), the established relationship was violated for a subset of stimuli resulting in the presentation of both expected and unexpected stimuli. The expectation status of the stimuli was found to have opposite effects on familiarity and recollection performance, the two kinds of memory that support recognition memory. At encoding (Experiments 1a and 1b), the presentation of expected stimuli selectively enhanced subsequent familiarity performance, while unexpected stimuli selectively enhanced subsequent recollection. Similarly, at retrieval (Experiments 2a and 2b), expected stimuli were more likely to be deemed familiar than unexpected stimuli, whereas unexpected stimuli were more likely to be recollected than were expected stimuli. These findings suggest that two separate memory enhancement mechanisms exist; one sensitive and modulating the accuracy of memory for the contextually distinctive or unexpected, and the other sensitive to and modulating the accuracy of memory for the expected. Therefore, the degree to which information fits with expectation has critical implications for the type of computational mechanism that will be engaged to support memory.
Project description:We used event-related fMRI to investigate whether recollection- and familiarity-based memory judgments are modulated by the degree of visual similarity between old and new art paintings. Subjects performed a flower detection task, followed by a Remember/Know/New surprise memory test. The old paintings were randomly presented with new paintings, which were either visually similar or visually different. Consistent with our prediction, subjects were significantly faster and more accurate to reject new, visually different paintings than new, visually similar ones. The proportion of false alarms, namely remember and know responses to new paintings, was significantly reduced with decreased visual similarity. The retrieval task evoked activation in multiple visual, parietal and prefrontal regions, within which remember judgments elicited stronger activation than know judgments. New, visually different paintings evoked weaker activation than new, visually similar items in the intraparietal sulcus. Contrasting recollection with familiarity revealed activation predominantly within the precuneus, where the BOLD response elicited by recollection peaked significantly earlier than the BOLD response evoked by familiarity judgments. These findings suggest that successful memory retrieval of pictures is mediated by activation in a distributed cortical network, where memory strength is manifested by differential hemodynamic profiles. Recollection- and familiarity-based memory decisions may therefore reflect strong memories and weak memories, respectively.
Project description:This study used event-related fMRI to examine the impact of the adoption of different retrieval orientations on the neural correlates of recollection. In each of two study-test blocks, participants encoded a mixed list of words and pictures and then performed a recognition memory task with words as the test items. In one block, the requirement was to respond positively to test items corresponding to studied words and to reject both new items and items corresponding to the studied pictures. In the other block, positive responses were made to test items corresponding to pictures, and items corresponding to words were classified along with the new items. On the basis of previous ERP findings, we predicted that in the word task, recollection-related effects would be found for target information only. This prediction was fulfilled. In both tasks, targets elicited the characteristic pattern of recollection-related activity. By contrast, nontargets elicited this pattern in the picture task, but not in the word task. Importantly, the left angular gyrus was among the regions demonstrating this dissociation of nontarget recollection effects according to retrieval orientation. The findings for the angular gyrus parallel prior findings for the "left-parietal" ERP old/new effect and add to the evidence that the effect reflects recollection-related neural activity originating in left ventral parietal cortex. Thus, the results converge with the previous ERP findings to suggest that the processing of retrieval cues can be constrained to prevent the retrieval of goal-irrelevant information.
Project description:Inhibitory control can be triggered directly via the retrieval of previously acquired stimulus-stop associations from memory. However, a recent study suggests that this item-specific stop learning may be mediated via expectancies of the contingencies in play (Best, Lawrence, Logan, McLaren, & Verbruggen, 2016). This could indicate that stimulus-stop learning also induces strategic proactive changes in performance. We further tested this hypothesis in the present study. In addition to measuring expectancies following task completion, we introduced a between-subjects expectancy manipulation in which one group of participants were informed about the stimulus-stop contingencies and another group did not receive any information about the stimulus-stop contingencies. Moreover, we combined this instruction manipulation with a distractor manipulation that was previously used to examine strategic proactive adjustments. We found that the stop-associated items slowed responding in both conditions. Furthermore, participants in both conditions generated expectancies following task completion that were consistent with the stimulus-stop contingencies. The distractor manipulation was ineffective. However, we found differences in the relationship between the expectancy ratings and task performance: in the instructed condition, the expectancies reliably correlated with the response slowing for the stop-associated items, whereas in the uninstructed condition we found no reliable correlation. These differences between the correlations were reliable, and our conclusions were further supported by Bayesian analyses. We conclude that stimulus-stop associations that are acquired either via task instructions or via task practice have similar effects on behaviour but could differ in how they elicit response slowing.