fMRI evidence of word frequency and strength effects in recognition memory

de Zubicaray, G. I., McMahon, K. L., Eastburn, M. M., Finnigan, S., & Humphreys, M. S. (2005) fMRI evidence of word frequency and strength effects in recognition memory. Cognitive Brain Research, 24(3), pp. 587-598.

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We used event-related fMRI to investigate the neural correlates of encoding strength and word frequency effects in recognition memory. At test, participants made Old/New decisions to intermixed low (LF) and high frequency (HF) words that had been presented once or twice at study and to new, unstudied words. The Old/New effect for all hits vs. correctly rejected unstudied words was associated with differential activity in multiple cortical regions, including the anterior medial temporal lobe (MTL), hippocampus, left lateral parietal cortex and anterior left inferior prefrontal cortex (LIPC). Items repeated at study had superior hit rates (HR) compared to items presented once and were associated with reduced activity in the right anterior MTL. By contrast, other regions that had shown conventional Old/New effects did not demonstrate modulation according to memory strength. A mirror effect for word frequency was demonstrated, with the LF word HR advantage associated with increased activity in the left lateral temporal cortex. However, none of the regions that had demonstrated Old/New item retrieval effects showed modulation according to word frequency. These findings are interpreted as supporting single-process memory models proposing a unitary strength-like memory signal and models attributing the LF word HR advantage to the greater lexico-semantic context-noise associated with HF words due to their being experienced in many pre-experimental contexts.

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ID Code: 85742
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Keywords: Encoding strength, Episodic memory, Familiarity, fMRI, Recognition, Recollection, Word frequency
DOI: 10.1016/j.cogbrainres.2005.03.009
ISSN: 1872-6348
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Elsevier B.V.
Deposited On: 07 Oct 2015 06:41
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2015 04:09

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