The effects of unitization on the contribution of familiarity and recollection processes to associative recognition memory: Evidence from event-related potentials

Zhiwei Zheng, Juan Li, Fengqiu Xiao, Lucas S. Broster, Yang Jiang, Mingjing Xi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Familiarity and recollection are two independent cognitive processes involved in recognition memory. It is traditionally believed that both familiarity and recollection can support item recognition, whereas only recollection can support associative recognition. Here, using a standard associative recognition task, we examined whether associative retrieval of unitized associations involved differential patterns of familiarity and recollection processes relative to non-unitized associations. The extent of engagement of familiarity and recollection processes during associative retrieval was estimated by using event-related potentials (ERPs). Twenty participants studied compound words and unrelated word pairs during encoding. Subsequently, they were asked to decide whether a presented word pair was intact, rearranged, or a new pair while electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded. ERP results showed that compound words evoked a significant early frontal old/new effect (associated with familiarity) between ERPs to intact and rearranged word pairs, whereas this effect disappeared for the unrelated word pairs. In addition, the left parietal old/new effect (associated with recollection) between ERPs to intact and rearranged word pairs was greater for compounds than for unrelated word pairs. These findings suggest that unitization enhances the contribution of both familiarity and recollection processes to associative recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-362
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Volume95
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Associative recognition
  • Event-related potentials
  • Familiarity
  • Recollection
  • Unitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)

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