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Event-related potential correlates of controlled retrieval processing in recognition memory exclusion tasks

Bridson, Nicole 2008. Event-related potential correlates of controlled retrieval processing in recognition memory exclusion tasks. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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Natural intelligences appear to represent the world in ways which filter out irrelevant information and allow them to function in a challenging environment. Episodic memory is thought to be mediated by control processes that facilitate the retrieval of task-relevant information at the expense of irrelevant information. Six event-related potential (ERP) experiments were conducted to explore the factors facilitating this strategic recollection. All of the experiments employed a variant of the exclusion task first used by Jennings & Jacoby (1997), in which studied words (targets) are endorsed on one response key, whereas new words and new words which repeat after an intervening lag of 7–9 items (non-targets) are rejected on another key. In all of the experiments correct responses to targets and non-targets elicited reliable left-parietal ERP old/new effects. However, when target accuracy was high (experiments 4 and 5) the effect for non-targets was significantly attenuated. This pattern of data is consistent with previous suggestions that, when the likelihood of recollecting information about targets is high, participants use the success or failure of an attempt to recollect information about targets as the basis for distinguishing between targets and all other classes of test word. Importantly, the findings generalise those obtained in previous experiments to circumstances under which one class of 'old' test items comprises items repeated during the exclusion test phases. The findings in this set of experiments also highlight important considerations when employing exclusion task data in order to make estimates of the relative contributions of memory processes to task performance. Furthermore, an exploratory magnetoencephalography (MEG) experiment found likely functional correlates of ERP memory effects, as well an event-related field (ERF) to which there is no comparable modulation within the electrical record, therefore, highlighting the possible benefits for the use of MEG in the study of human recognition memory.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
ISBN: 9781303213038
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2018 21:55

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