Previous studies have investigated the influences of emotion regulation on memory for emotional stimuli. However, whether and how emotion regulation impacts recognition memory for neutral items in negative background is still unclear. Thus, the present study used event-related potentials and the study-recognition memory task to examine the effects of the two commonly used emotion regulation strategies, cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression, on recognition memory of neutral words centrally presented on negative pictures. The behavior results showed that, compared with suppression, the reappraisal strategy enhanced the neutral words memory. Moreover, the event-related potential data demonstrated larger FN400 old/new effect indexing familiarity and late positive component old/new effect presenting episodic information recollection for the reappraisal condition relative to view and suppression conditions. These might be due to significant elaboration encouraged by this strategy.