The electrophysiological signature of remember–know is confounded with memory strength and cannot be interpreted as evidence for dual-process theory of recognition

Noam Brezis, Zohar Z. Bronfman, Galit Yovel, Yonatan Goshen-Gottstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The quantity and nature of the processes underlying recognition memory remains an open question. A majority of behavioral, neuropsychological, and brain studies have suggested that recognition memory is supported by two dissociable processes: recollection and familiarity. It has been conversely argued, however, that recollection and familiarity map onto a single continuum of mnemonic strength and hence that recognition memory is mediated by a single process. Previous electrophysiological studies found marked dissociations between recollection and familiarity, which have been widely held as corroborating the dual-process account. However, it remains unknown whether a strength interpretation can likewise apply for these findings. Here we describe an ERP study, using a modified remember–know (RK) procedure, which allowed us to control for mnemonic strength. We find that ERPs of high and low mnemonic strength mimicked the electrophysiological distinction between R and K responses, in a lateral positive component (LPC), 500–1000 msec poststimulus onset. Critically, when contrasting strength with RK experience, by comparing weak R to strong K responses, the electrophysiological signal mapped onto strength, not onto subjective RK experience. Invoking the LPC as support for dual-process accounts may, therefore, be amiss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-336
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The electrophysiological signature of remember–know is confounded with memory strength and cannot be interpreted as evidence for dual-process theory of recognition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this