The interfering effect of related events on recognition memory discriminability: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Brain Res Cogn Brain Res, Volume 22, Issue 3, p.429-37 (2005)


Adult, Brain, Discrimination Learning, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Memory, Middle Aged, Photic Stimulation, Recognition (Psychology)


<p>Retrieval of information from memory often involves the selection of an event among competing related events, a process that frequently gives rise to interference effects. The present study used a forced-choice recognition test to identify neural correlates of the interfering effect of related events on recognition memory discriminability. Participants encoded landscape pictures divided into three segments. One segment was presented during encoding, and a forced-choice recognition task contrasted a studied and a nonstudied segment for each landscape. For half of the landscapes, the third segment was presented between encoding and recognition tasks to induce associative interference by reducing recognition discriminability. A behavioral study with 40 subjects yielded a significant difference in the correct recognition rate between control and interference trials (76% and 64%, respectively, p<0.001). A subsequent event-related fMRI study with 16 subjects yielded significant activations for correct interference recognition trials relative to control trials in left superior parietal regions, which suggests that these regions play a role in the representation of stimuli and associated information. The opposite contrast yielded significant activations in inferior prefrontal regions bilaterally, right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and right parahippocampal cortex. Since this contrast was conducted using only correctly recognized trials, these findings could reflect an index of memory discriminability or saliency which could influence conscious recollection.</p>

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