Neural correlates of encoding processes predicting subsequent cued recall and source memory

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In this experiment, event-related potentials were used to examine whether the neural correlates of encoding processes predicting subsequent successful recall differed from those predicting successful source memory retrieval. During encoding, participants studied lists of words and were instructed to memorize each word and the list in which it occurred. At test, they had to complete stems (the first four letters) with a studied word and then make a judgment of the initial temporal context (i.e. list). Event-related potentials recorded during encoding were segregated according to subsequent memory performance to examine subsequent memory effects (SMEs) reflecting successful cued recall (cued recall SME) and successful source retrieval (source memory SME). Data showed a cued recall SME on parietal electrode sites from 400 to 1200 ms and a late inversed cued recall SME on frontal sites in the 1200–1400 ms period. Moreover, a source memory SME was reported from 400 to 1400 ms on frontal areas. These findings indicate that patterns of encoding-related activity predicting successful recall and source memory are clearly dissociated.

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