Can color changes alter the neural correlates of recognition memory? Manipulation of processing affects an electrophysiological indicator of conceptual implicit memory

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


It has been widely shown that recognition memory includes two distinct retrieval processes: familiarity and recollection. Many studies have shown that recognition memory can be facilitated when there is a perceptual match between the studied and the tested items. Most event-related potential studies have explored the perceptual match effect on familiarity on the basis of the hypothesis that the specific event-related potential component associated with familiarity is the FN400 (300–500 ms mid-frontal effect). However, it is currently unclear whether the FN400 indexes familiarity or conceptual implicit memory. In addition, on the basis of the findings of a previous study, the so-called perceptual manipulations in previous studies may also involve some conceptual alterations. Therefore, we sought to determine the influence of perceptual manipulation by color changes on recognition memory when the perceptual or the conceptual processes were emphasized. Specifically, different instructions (perceptually or conceptually oriented) were provided to the participants. The results showed that color changes may significantly affect overall recognition memory behaviorally and that congruent items were recognized with a higher accuracy rate than incongruent items in both tasks, but no corresponding neural changes were found. Despite the evident familiarity shown in the two tasks (the behavioral performance of recognition memory was much higher than at the chance level), the FN400 effect was found in conceptually oriented tasks, but not perceptually oriented tasks. It is thus highly interesting that the FN400 effect was not induced, although color manipulation of recognition memory was behaviorally shown, as seen in previous studies. Our findings of the FN400 effect for the conceptual but not perceptual condition support the explanation that the FN400 effect indexes conceptual implicit memory.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles