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1.  Lateral parietal cortex is modulated by amount of recollected verbal information 
Neuroreport  2009;20(14):1295-1299.
In two prior experiments we reported that activity in the left inferior posterior parietal cortex covaried with amount of information recollected. Given that the experimental materials in these two studies were exclusively pictorial, the question arises whether the findings generalize to other classes of recollected content. If, as we have argued, the left inferior parietal cortex supports the representation of recollected content in an amodal manner, then activity in this region should also be modulated by amount recollected when non-pictorial materials are employed. The current study addressed the question whether left inferior posterior parietal cortex is sensitive to amount of information recollected for verbal rather than pictorial information. At study, participants saw a series of word pairs, in each case generating a sentence that incorporated both words. At test, a mixture of old and new individual words were presented in a modified remember/know task. Participants made one response (R2) if they could recollect the test item and its studied pairmate, another response (R1) if they could recollect some information from the study episode but not the pairmate, a third response (K) if the test item was judged to have been studied in the absence of any recollection of study details, or a fourth, New, response. We assumed that trials where old items were given an R2 response were on average associated with recollection of more study information than when old items were given an R1 response. Thus, we operationally defined ‘amount recollected’ as the contrast between these two trial types (i.e., R2 hits > R1 hits). Using a small volume correction procedure, we identified a cluster within the same left inferior posterior parietal region identified as amount-sensitive in our prior study using the same test procedure. Thus, our prior findings generalize to non-pictorial stimulus materials and support the proposal that left inferior posterior parietal cortex plays a generic role in the maintenance or representation of recollected information.
PMCID: PMC2771458  PMID: 19668014
episodic memory; remember-know; recollection
Depression and anxiety  2009;26(5):396-402.
The memory deficit hypothesis has been used to explain the maintenance of repetitive behavior in individuals with obsessive–compulsive disorder, yet the majority of studies focusing on verbal memory show mixed results. These studies primarily evaluated memory accuracy via the inclusion or omission of previously encountered material, as opposed to false recognition (i.e., the inclusion of erroneous material). We evaluated false memories and memory processes in individuals with obsessive–compulsive washing symptoms (OC), individuals matched on depression and anxiety without OC symptoms (D/A), and in nonanxious individuals (NAC).
Twenty-eight OC, 28 D/A, and 29 NAC individuals read OC-threat relevant, positive, and neutral scenarios and then performed a recognition test. Erroneous recognition of words associated to encoded, but not previously viewed, scenarios were classified as false memories. To evaluate processes underlying memory, participants completed a modified remember/know task to examine whether the OC individuals differed from the other individuals in recollective clarity for false memories of OC-relevant (e.g., germs), positive (e.g., lottery), and neutral (e.g., bread) material.
The OC individuals used “know” more than the D/A and NAC individuals for false memories of threat. For veridical memories, the OC individuals used “know” more than the NAC, but not, D/A individuals.
The greater reliance on “know” (i.e., feelings of familiarity) in general and false threat memories in particular in individuals with OC symptoms may add to feelings of uncertainty for threat-relevant material, which may contribute to compulsive behavior.
PMCID: PMC3666829  PMID: 18839404
Threat; Recognition; Deficit; Remember; Know
3.  Sleep-Related Hippocampo-Cortical Interplay during Emotional Memory Recollection 
PLoS Biology  2007;5(11):e282.
Emotional events are usually better remembered than neutral ones. This effect is mediated in part by a modulation of the hippocampus by the amygdala. Sleep plays a role in the consolidation of declarative memory. We examined the impact of sleep and lack of sleep on the consolidation of emotional (negative and positive) memories at the macroscopic systems level. Using functional MRI (fMRI), we compared the neural correlates of successful recollection by humans of emotional and neutral stimuli, 72 h after encoding, with or without total sleep deprivation during the first post-encoding night. In contrast to recollection of neutral and positive stimuli, which was deteriorated by sleep deprivation, similar recollection levels were achieved for negative stimuli in both groups. Successful recollection of emotional stimuli elicited larger responses in the hippocampus and various cortical areas, including the medial prefrontal cortex, in the sleep group than in the sleep deprived group. This effect was consistent across subjects for negative items but depended linearly on individual memory performance for positive items. In addition, the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex were functionally more connected during recollection of either negative or positive than neutral items, and more so in sleeping than in sleep-deprived subjects. In the sleep-deprived group, recollection of negative items elicited larger responses in the amygdala and an occipital area than in the sleep group. In contrast, no such difference in brain responses between groups was associated with recollection of positive stimuli. The results suggest that the emotional significance of memories influences their sleep-dependent systems-level consolidation. The recruitment of hippocampo-neocortical networks during recollection is enhanced after sleep and is hindered by sleep deprivation. After sleep deprivation, recollection of negative, potentially dangerous, memories recruits an alternate amygdalo-cortical network, which would keep track of emotional information despite sleep deprivation.
Author Summary
Declarative memories, which can be consciously and verbally retrieved, are initially critically dependent on the hippocampus. However, reliable retrieval of long-term memory depends on a process of consolidation, which partly occurs during sleep, when memories are thought to be progressively transferred to long-term cortical stores. Because people tend to remember emotional memories better than neutral ones, we wondered whether the emotional significance of a memory would enhance its consolidation in a sleep-dependent manner. During a first session, participants viewed pictures with neutral and emotional content without realizing that their memory of the pictures and their content would be tested later (called incidental encoding). Three days later, during a functional MRI scanning session, subjects indicated whether they recognized previously viewed and new pictures. Half of the subjects were totally sleep deprived during the first post-encoding night, but all subjects slept as usual during the second and third post-encoding nights. We show here that the recollection of emotional stimuli elicited larger responses in the hippocampus and various cortical areas in the well-rested group than in the sleep-deprived group, suggesting that emotional significance boosts memory consolidation of the information during sleep. Interestingly, in sleep-deprived subjects, recollection of negative items recruited another network including the amygdala, as if an alternate consolidation process allowed them to keep track of negative, potentially dangerous, information despite the cognitive aftermath of sleep deprivation.
A new fMRI study reveals that emotional memories are consolidated by different brain networks in humans who receive a normal amount of sleep, compared with those who are sleep deprived.
PMCID: PMC2039770  PMID: 17958471
4.  True Memory, False Memory, and Subjective Recollection Deficits after Focal Parietal Lobe Lesions 
Neuropsychology  2010;24(4):465-475.
There is mounting evidence that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) plays an important role in episodic memory. We previously found that patients with PPC damage exhibit retrieval-related episodic memory deficits. Our objective was to assess whether parietal lobe damage affects episodic memory on a different task: the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) false-memory paradigm.
Two patients with bilateral PPC damage and matched controls were tested. In Experiment 1, the task was to remember words; in Experiment 2 the task was to remember pictures of common objects. Prior studies have shown that normal participants have high levels of false memory to words, low levels to pictures.
The patients exhibited significantly lower levels of false memory to words. The patients' false memories were accompanied by reduced levels of recollection, as tested by a Remember/Know procedure. It is unlikely that a failure of gist processing accounts for these results, as patients accurately remembered thematic elements of short vignettes, but failed to remember details. These results support the view that portions of the PPC play a critical role in objective and subjective aspects of recollection.
PMCID: PMC2917642  PMID: 20604621
false memory; subjective recollection; attention; parietal lobe; memory retrieval; Balint's syndrome; simultanagnosia
5.  Remember and Know Judgments During Recognition in Chronic Schizophrenia 
Schizophrenia research  2007;100(1-3):181-190.
Deficits in learning and memory are among the most robust correlates of schizophrenia. It has been hypothesized that these deficits are in part due to reduced conscious recollection and increased reliance on familiarity assessment as a basis for retrieval. The Remember-Know (R-K) paradigm was administered to 35 patients with chronic schizophrenia and 35 healthy controls. In addition to making “remember” and “know” judgments, the participants were asked to make forced choice recognition judgments with regard to details about the learning episode. Analyses comparing response types showed a significant reduction in “remember” responses and a significant increase in “know” responses in schizophrenia patients relative to controls. Both patients and controls recalled more details of the learning episode for “remember” compared to “know” responses, although, in particular for “remember” responses, patients recalled fewer details compared with controls. Notably, patients recognized fewer inter-item but not intra-item stimulus features compared with controls. These findings suggest deficits in organizing and integrating relational information during the learning episode and/or using relational information for retrieval. A Dual-Process Signal Detection interpretation of these findings suggests that recollection in chronic schizophrenia is significantly reduced, while familiarity is not. Additionally, a unidimensional Signal Detection Theory interpretation suggests that chronic schizophrenia patients show a reduction in memory strength, and an altered criterion on the memory strength distribution for detecting new compared with old stimuli but not for detecting stimuli that are remembered versus familiar. Taken together, these findings are consistent with a deficit in recollection and increased reliance on familiarity in making recognition memory judgments in chronic schizophrenia.
PMCID: PMC2517628  PMID: 17964760
schizophrenia; psychosis; chronic; memory; episodic; recognition; recollection; familiarity; context; remember; know
6.  Relating the Content and Confidence of Recognition Judgments 
The Remember/Know procedure, developed by Tulving (1985) to capture the distinction between the conscious correlates of episodic and semantic retrieval, has spurned considerable research and debate. However, only a handful of reports have examined the recognition content beyond this dichotomous simplification. To address this, we collected participants’ written justifications in support of ordinary old/new recognition decisions accompanied by confidence ratings using a 3-point scale (high/medium/low). Unlike prior research, we did not provide the participants with any descriptions of Remembering or Knowing and thus, if the justifications mapped well onto theory, they would do so spontaneously. Word frequency analysis (unigrams, bigrams, and trigrams), independent ratings, and machine learning techniques (Support Vector Machine - SVM) converged in demonstrating that the linguistic content of high and medium confidence recognition differs in a manner consistent with dual process theories of recognition. For example, the use of ‘I remember’, particularly when combined with temporal or perceptual information (e.g., ‘when’, ‘saw’, ‘distinctly’), was heavily associated with high confidence recognition. Conversely, participants also used the absence of remembering for personally distinctive materials as support for high confidence new reports (‘would have remembered’). Thus, participants afford a special status to the presence or absence of remembering and use this actively as a basis for high confidence during recognition judgments. Additionally, the pattern of classification successes and failures of a SVM was well anticipated by the Dual Process Signal Detection model of recognition and inconsistent with a single process, strictly unidimensional approach. “One might think that memory should have something to do with remembering, and remembering is a conscious experience.”(Tulving, 1985, p. 1)
PMCID: PMC4049202  PMID: 23957366
7.  Dissociation of the neural correlates of recognition memory according to familiarity, recollection, and amount of recollected information 
Neuropsychologia  2007;45(10):2216-2225.
The present experiment used fMRI to investigate whether neural correlates of recognition memory behave in a manner consistent with the proposal that recognition decisions are based on a unidimensional memory strength variable. A modified remember/know recognition test was used in which participants could indicate two levels of recollection. Participants were required to indicate whether a test item was new, familiar (known), elicited recollection of general contextual details from the study episode (R1 response), or elicited a specific recollection of the item with which it was paired at study (R2 response). Little evidence could be found to support the view that Remember/Know/New judgments reflect variations along a single strength dimension. Instead, the findings replicated prior research in indicating that the neural correlates of recollection and familiarity can be doubly dissociated. Two recollection-sensitive regions - left lateral inferior parietal and left fusiform cortex - were found to be sensitive to amount of information recollected, as operationalized in the contrast between R2 and R1 responses. It is proposed that these regions may support the representation of recollected information.
PMCID: PMC1933497  PMID: 17449068
memory strength; fMRI; parietal; hippocampus; dual-process; brain imaging
8.  Functional Significance of Retrieval-related Activity in Lateral parietal cortex: Evidence from fMRI and ERPs 
Human brain mapping  2009;30(5):1490-1501.
The present study addressed the question whether neural activity in left lateral parietal cortex is modulated by amount of information recollected. In two experiments (one using fMRI, the other ERPs) subjects first studied pairs of pictures presented for either one or six seconds. They then performed a standard ‘Remember/Know’ recognition memory test in which the old items comprised one of the pictures from each studied pair. In both experiments, a surprise post-test indicated that subjects recollected more details about the study presentation of the items presented for the longer duration. In the fMRI experiment, recollection- and familiarity-based recognition elicited activity in distinct cortical networks. Additionally, recollection-related activity in left inferior parietal cortex was of greater magnitude for test items presented for six seconds than for one second. In the ERP study the ‘left-parietal old/new effect’ – a putative correlate of successful recollection – was likewise modulated by amount of information retrieved. Together, these findings provide further support for dual-process models of recognition memory and add weight to the proposal that retrieval-related activity in left inferior parietal cortex reflects processes supporting the online representation of retrieved episodic information.
PMCID: PMC2670940  PMID: 18649352
episodic memory; recognition memory; remember-know; event-related potential; episodic buffer
9.  Rethinking Familiarity: Remember/Know Judgments in Free Recall 
Journal of memory and language  2013;68(4):333-349.
Although frequently used with recognition, a few studies have used the Remember/Know procedure with free recall. In each case, participants gave Know judgments to a significant number of recalled items (items that were presumably not remembered on the basis of familiarity). What do these Know judgments mean? We investigated this issue using a source memory/free-recall procedure. For each word that was recalled, participants were asked to (a) make a confidence rating on a 5-point scale, (b) make a Remember/Know judgment, and (c) recollect a source detail. The large majority of both Remember judgments and Know judgments were made with high confidence and high accuracy, but source memory was nevertheless higher for Remember judgments than for Know judgments. These source memory results correspond to what is found using recognition, and they raise the possibility that Know judgments in free recall identify the cue-dependent retrieval of item-only information from an episodic memory search set. In agreement with this idea, we also found that the temporal dynamics of free recall were similar for high-confidence Remember and high-confidence Know judgments (as if both judgments reflected retrieval from the same search set). If Know judgments in free recall do in fact reflect the episodic retrieval of item-only information, it seems reasonable to suppose that the same might be true of high-confidence Know judgments in recognition. If so, then a longstanding debate about the role of the hippocampus in recollection and familiarity may have a natural resolution.
PMCID: PMC3637981  PMID: 23637470
Recollection; Familiarity; Recall; Recognition
10.  Why Reassurance Fails in Patients with Unexplained Symptoms—An Experimental Investigation of Remembered Probabilities 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(8):e269.
Providing reassurance is one of physicians' most frequently used verbal interventions. However, medical reassurance can fail or even have negative effects. This is frequently the case in patients with medically unexplained symptoms. It is hypothesized that these patients are more likely than patients from other groups to incorrectly recall the likelihoods of medical explanations provided by doctors.
Methods and Findings
Thirty-three patients with medically unexplained symptoms, 22 patients with major depression, and 30 healthy controls listened to an audiotaped medical report, as well as to two control reports. After listening to the reports, participants were asked to rate what the doctor thinks the likelihood is that the complaints are caused by a specific medical condition.
Although the doctor rejected most of the medical explanations for the symptoms in his verbal report, the patients with medically unexplained complaints remembered a higher likelihood for medical explanations for their symptoms. No differences were found between patients in the other groups, and for the control conditions. When asked to imagine that the reports were applicable to themselves, patients with multiple medical complaints reported more concerns about their health state than individuals in the other groups.
Physicians should be aware that patients with medically unexplained symptoms recall the likelihood of medical causes for their complaints incorrectly. Therefore, physicians should verify correct understanding by using check-back questions and asking for summaries, to improve the effect of reassurance.
Those patients for whom there is no medical explanation for their symptoms are likely to have more difficulty than other patients in remembering information intended to reassure them about their condition.
Editors' Summary
Being told by the doctor that that niggling headache or persistent stomach ache is not caused by a medical condition reassures most patients. But for some—those with a history of medically unexplained complaints—being told that tests have revealed no underlying cause for their symptoms provides little or no reassurance. Such patients have what is sometimes called “somatization syndrome.” In somatization, mental factors such as stress manifest themselves as physical symptoms. Patients with somatization syndrome start to report multiple medically unexplained symptoms as young adults. These symptoms, which change over time, include pain at different sites in the body and digestive, reproductive, and nervous system problems. What causes this syndrome is unknown and there is no treatment other than helping patients to control their symptoms.
Why Was This Study Done?
Patients with medically unexplained complaints make up a substantial and expensive part of the workload of general medical staff. Part of this expense is because patients with somatization syndrome are not reassured by their medical practitioners telling them there is no physical cause for their symptoms, which leads to requests for further tests. It is unclear why medical reassurance fails in these patients, but if this puzzle could be solved, it might help doctors to deal better with them. In this study, the researchers tested the idea that these patients do not accept medical reassurance because they incorrectly remember what their doctors have told them about the likelihood that specific medical conditions could explain their symptoms.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited patients with medically unexplained symptoms and, for comparison, patients with depression and healthy individuals. All the participants were assessed for somatization syndrome and their general memory tested. They then listened to three audiotapes. In one, a doctor gave test results to a patient with abdominal pain (a medical situation). The other two tapes dealt with a social situation (the lack of an invitation to a barbecue) and a neutral situation (a car breakdown). Each tape contained ten messages, including four that addressed possible explanations for the problem. Two were unambiguous and negative—for example, “the reason for your complaints is definitely not stomach flu.” Two were ambiguous but highly unlikely—“we don't think that you have bowel cancer; this is very unlikely.” The researchers then assessed how well the participants remembered the likelihood that any given explanation was responsible for the patient's symptoms, the missing invitation, or the broken-down car. The patients with somatization syndrome overestimated the likelihood of medical causes for symptoms, particularly (and somewhat surprisingly) when the doctor's assessment had been unambiguous. By contrast, the other participants correctly remembered the doctor's estimates as low. The three study groups were similar in their recall of the likelihood estimates from the social or neutral situation. Finally, when asked to imagine that the medical situation was personally applicable, the patients with unexplained symptoms reacted more emotionally than the other study participants by reporting more concerns with their health.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results support the researchers' hypothesis that people with somatization syndrome remember the chance that a given symptom has a specific medical cause incorrectly. This is not because of a general memory deficit or an inability to commit health-related facts to memory. The results also indicate that these patients react emotionally to medical situations, so they may find it hard to cope when a doctor fails to explain all their symptoms. Some of these characteristics could, of course, reflect the patients' previous experiences with medical professionals, and the experiment will need to be repeated with additional taped situations and more patients before firm recommendations can be made to help people with somatization syndrome. Nevertheless, given that medical reassurance and the presentation of negative results led to overestimates of the likelihood of medical explanations for symptoms in patients with somatization syndrome, the researchers recommend that doctors bear this bias in mind. To reduce it, they suggest, doctors could ask patients for summaries about what they have been told. This would make it possible to detect when patients have misremembered the likelihood of various medical explanations, and provide an opportunity to correct the situation.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
• MedlinePlus encyclopedia entry on somatization disorder
• Wikipedia page on somatization disorder (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
• Prodigy Knowledge's information for patients on somatization and somatoform disorders
PMCID: PMC1523375  PMID: 16866576
11.  Memory for time and place contributes to enhanced confidence in memories for emotional events 
Emotion (Washington, D.C.)  2012;12(4):834-846.
Emotion strengthens the subjective sense of remembering. However, these confidently remembered emotional memories have not been found be more accurate for some types of contextual details. We investigated whether the subjective sense of recollecting negative stimuli is coupled with enhanced memory accuracy for three specific types of central contextual details using the remember/know paradigm and confidence ratings. Our results indicate that the subjective sense of remembering is indeed coupled with better recollection of spatial location and temporal context. In contrast, we found a double-dissociation between the subjective sense of remembering and memory accuracy for colored dots placed in the conceptual center of negative and neutral scenes. These findings show that the enhanced subjective recollective experience for negative stimuli reliably indicates objective recollection for spatial location and temporal context, but not for other types of details, whereas for neutral stimuli, the subjective sense of remembering is coupled with all the types of details assessed. Translating this finding to flashbulb memories, we found that, over time, more participants correctly remembered the location where they learned about the terrorist attacks on 9/11 than any other canonical feature. Likewise participants’ confidence was higher in their memory for location vs. other canonical features. These findings indicate that the strong recollective experience of a negative event corresponds to an accurate memory for some kinds of contextual details, but not other kinds. This discrepancy provides further evidence that the subjective sense of remembering negative events is driven by a different mechanism than the subjective sense of remembering neutral events.
PMCID: PMC3968901  PMID: 22642353
emotion; memory; subjective sense of remembering; remember/know; confidence
12.  Recognition memory in developmental prosopagnosia: electrophysiological evidence for abnormal routes to face recognition 
Dual process models of recognition memory propose two distinct routes for recognizing a face: recollection and familiarity. Recollection is characterized by the remembering of some contextual detail from a previous encounter with a face whereas familiarity is the feeling of finding a face familiar without any contextual details. The Remember/Know (R/K) paradigm is thought to index the relative contributions of recollection and familiarity to recognition performance. Despite researchers measuring face recognition deficits in developmental prosopagnosia (DP) through a variety of methods, none have considered the distinct contributions of recollection and familiarity to recognition performance. The present study examined recognition memory for faces in eight individuals with DP and a group of controls using an R/K paradigm while recording electroencephalogram (EEG) data at the scalp. Those with DP were found to produce fewer correct “remember” responses and more false alarms than controls. EEG results showed that posterior “remember” old/new effects were delayed and restricted to the right posterior (RP) area in those with DP in comparison to the controls. A posterior “know” old/new effect commonly associated with familiarity for faces was only present in the controls whereas individuals with DP exhibited a frontal “know” old/new effect commonly associated with words, objects and pictures. These results suggest that individuals with DP do not utilize normal face-specific routes when making face recognition judgments but instead process faces using a pathway more commonly associated with objects.
PMCID: PMC4132483  PMID: 25177283
prosopagnosia; face recognition; recognition memory; familiarity; recollection; electroencephalogram (EEG)
13.  Aging reduces veridical remembering but increases false remembering: Neuropsychological test correlates of remember–know judgments 
Neuropsychologia  2008;47(11):2164-2173.
In 1985 Tulving introduced the remember–know procedure, whereby subjects are asked to distinguish between memories that involve retrieval of contextual details (remembering) and memories that do not (knowing). Several studies have been reported showing age-related declines in remember hits, which has typically been interpreted as supporting dual-process theories of cognitive aging that align remembering with a recollection process and knowing with a familiarity process. Less attention has been paid to remember false alarms, or their relation to age. We reviewed the literature examining aging and remember/know judgments and show that age-related increases in remember false alarms, i.e., false remembering, are as reliable as age-related decreases in remember hits, i.e., veridical remembering. Moreover, a meta-analysis showed that the age effect size for remember hits and false alarms are similar, and larger than age effects on know hits and false alarms. We also show that the neuropsychological correlates of remember hits and false alarms differ. Neuropsychological tests of medial-temporal lobe functioning were related to remember hits, but tests of frontal-lobe functioning and age were not. By contrast, age and frontal-lobe functioning predicted unique variance in remember false alarms, but MTL functioning did not. We discuss various explanations for these findings and conclude that any comprehensive explanation of recollective experience will need to account for the processes underlying both remember hits and false alarms.
PMCID: PMC3319377  PMID: 19100756
Human memory; Episodic memory; Cognitive aging; Remember–know; Meta-analysis; Frontal functioning; Medial-temporal functioning; Signal detection
14.  Changes in Familiarity and Recollection across the Lifespan: An ERP Perspective 
Brain research  2009;1310C:124-141.
The ability to recognize previous experience depends on two neurocognitive processes, familiarity, fast-acting and relatively automatic, and recollection, slower-acting and more effortful. Familiarity appears to mature relatively early in development and is maintained with aging, whereas recollection shows protracted development and deteriorates with aging. To assess this model, ERP and behavioral data were recorded in children (9-10 years), adolescents (13-14), young (20-30) and older (65-85) adults during a recognition memory task in which the same items were studied and tested over four cycles. Participants decided whether each item was old or new and then whether the decision was associated with (Remember, R) or without (Know, K) contextual detail. Memory sensitivity was greatest in young adults, although all groups showed increases in memory sensitivity and R judgments with repetition. Familiarity-based processes (mid-frontal episodic memory, EM, effect) appeared to be used by adolescents, young and older adults, but apparently not to the same extent by children. Recollection-based processes (parietal EM effect) were recruited by children, adolescents and young adults, but to a much lesser extent by older adults. Repetition enhanced the parietal effect in all but older adults. However, post-hoc analyses indicated that reduced recollective processing was confined to poor-performing older adults. By contrast, children appeared to rely mainly on recollection concordant with their conservative decision criteria across tests. We conclude that episodic-memory development reflects the increasingly flexible and interchangeable use of familiarity and recollection with a breakdown in the latter at older ages, perhaps limited to poor-performing older adults.
PMCID: PMC2812671  PMID: 19914220
ERP episodic memory effect; lifespan; cognitive development; cognitive aging; familiarity; recollection
15.  False Recollection of Emotional Pictures in Alzheimer’s Disease 
Neuropsychologia  2010;48(12):3614-3618.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) can reduce the effects of emotional content on memory for studied pictures, but less is known about false memory. In healthy adults, emotionally arousing pictures can be more susceptible to false memory effects than neutral pictures, potentially because emotional pictures share conceptual similarities that cause memory confusions. We investigatedthese effects in AD patients and healthy controls. Participants studied pictures and their verbal labels, and then picture recollection was tested using verbal labels as retrieval cues. Some of the test labels had been associated with a picture at study, whereas other had not. On this picture recollection test, we found that both AD patients and controlsincorrectly endorsed some of the test labels that had not been studiedwith pictures. These errors were associated with medium to high levels of confidence, indicating some degree of false recollection. Critically, these false recollection judgments were greater for emotionalcompared to neutral items, especially for positively valenced items, in both AD patients and controls. Dysfunction of the amygdala and hippocampusin early AD may impairrecollection, but ADdid not disrupt the effect of emotion on false recollection judgments.
PMCID: PMC2949550  PMID: 20727904
False memory; emotion; Alzheimer’s disease
16.  Medial prefrontal cortex activity during memory encoding of pictures and its relation to symptomatic improvement after citalopram treatment in patients with major depression 
Brain imaging studies of major depressive disorder have shown alterations in the brain regions typically involved in episodic memory, including the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal areas. Some studies of major depressive disorder have linked episodic memory performance to treatment response. In this study, we sought to identify brain regions whose activity, measured during the encoding of pictures, predicted symptomatic improvement after 8 weeks of citalopram treatment.
We included 20 unmedicated depressed patients. These patients performed an episodic recognition memory task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. During the encoding phase, 150 pictures depicting emotionally positive, negative or neutral content were presented, and the participants were required to classify each picture according to its emotional valence. The same 150 pictures were presented, along with 150 new ones, for a recognition task. We asked participants to distinguish the old pictures from the new ones. We assessed symptom severity by use of the 21-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) at baseline and after 8 weeks of citalopram treatment. We performed subsequent memory effect analyses using SPM2 software. We explored the relation between brain activation during successful encoding of pictures and symptomatic improvement.
Patients showed a mean symptomatic improvement of 54.5% on the HAM-D after 8 weeks. Symptomatic improvement was significantly and positively correlated with picture recognition memory accuracy. We also found that the activity of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex during successful encoding was significantly correlated with symptomatic improvement. Finally, we found greater activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex during the successful encoding of positive pictures in comparison with neutral pictures.
During the recognition memory task, 5 participants (among the best responders to treatment) were not included in the valence-specific analyses because they had very few errors. A more challenging task would have allowed the inclusion of most patients.
Different types of functional imaging paradigms have been used to explore whether the activity of specific brain regions measured at baseline is predictive of a better response to treatment in major depressive disorder. Among these regions, the medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex usually show the strongest predictive value. According to our results, the medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex could have an effect on treatment response in major depressive disorder by contributing to the successful encoding of positively valenced information.
PMCID: PMC2861132  PMID: 20420766
17.  Neural Substrates of Increased Memory Sensitivity for Negative Stimuli in Major Depression 
Biological psychiatry  2008;63(12):1155-1162.
Although memory biases for negatively valenced stimuli have been reliably associated with depression and have been postulated to play a critical role in the maintenance of this disorder, the neural bases of these biases have received little attention. In this study, we tested a model of heightened memory sensitivity for negative information in depression in which neural mechanisms that normally facilitate memory for affective material are over-recruited during encoding of negative material in depression.
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine amygdala activity and functional connectivity with the hippocampus and caudate-putamen during successful encoding—as assessed by a recognition memory probe one week following scanning—of negative, neutral, and positive pictures by 14 depressed and 12 nondepressed individuals.
Depressed individuals demonstrated greater memory sensitivity than did nondepressed participants to negative, but not to neutral or positive, stimuli. The right amygdala was more active and showed greater functional connectivity with the hippocampus and caudate-putamen during encoding of subsequently remembered negative, but not neutral or positive, stimuli in depressed than in control participants. The degree of memory-related right amygdala responsivity in the depressed participants was significantly correlated with depressive severity.
These findings support the formulation that, in remembering negative information better than nondepressed persons, depressed individuals over-recruit a neural network involved more generally in enhancing memory for affective stimuli, and that the degree to which they over-recruit this system is related to the severity of clinical symptomatology.
PMCID: PMC2474758  PMID: 18281017
Depression; Amygdala; Hippocampus; Caudate; Putamen; Memory
18.  SenseCam, imagery and bias in memory for wellbeing 
Memory (Hove, England)  2011;19(7):768-777.
Identifying and modifying the negative interpretation bias that characterises depression is central to successful treatment. While accumulating evidence indicates that mental imagery is particularly effective in the modification of emotional bias, this research typically incorporates static and unrelated ambiguous stimuli. SenseCam technology, and the resulting video-like footage, offers an opportunity to produce training stimuli that are dynamic and self-relevant. Here participants experienced several ambiguous tasks and subsequently viewed SenseCam footage of the same tasks, paired with negative or positive captions. Participants were trained to use mental imagery to inter-relate SenseCam footage and captions. Participants reported increased levels of happy mood, reduced levels of sad mood, and increased task enjoyment following SenseCam review with positive versus negative captions. This shift in emotional bias was also evident at 24-hour follow-up, as participants recollected greater task enjoyment for those tasks previously paired with positive captions. Mental imagery appears to play an important role in this process. These preliminary results indicate that in healthy volunteers, SenseCam can be used within a bias modification paradigm to shift mood and memory for wellbeing associated with performing everyday activities. Further refinements are necessary before similar methods can be applied to individuals suffering from subclinical and clinical depression.
PMCID: PMC3534350  PMID: 21416451
SenseCam; Cognitive bias modification; Emotion; Mental imagery
19.  Emotion Enhances the Subjective Feeling of Remembering, Despite Lower Accuracy for Contextual Details 
Emotion (Washington, D.C.)  2011;11(3):10.1037/a0024246.
Emotion strengthens the subjective experience of recollection. However, these vivid and confidently remembered emotional memories may not necessarily be more accurate. We investigated whether the subjective sense of recollection for negative stimuli is coupled with enhanced memory accuracy for contextual details using the remember/know paradigm. Our results indicate a double-dissociation between the subjective feeling of remembering, and the objective memory accuracy for details of negative and neutral scenes. “Remember” judgments were boosted for negative relative to neutral scenes. In contrast, memory for contextual details and associative binding was worse for negative compared to neutral scenes given a “remember” response. These findings show that the enhanced subjective recollective experience for negative stimuli does not reliably indicate greater objective recollection, at least of the details tested, and thus may be driven by a different mechanism than the subjective recollective experience for neutral stimuli.
PMCID: PMC3864593  PMID: 21668106
emotion; memory; subjective sense of remembering; remember/know; confidence
20.  Face Memory: Implications for theories of binding items to context 
Psychological science  2013;24(3):363-372.
Two experiments tested the hypothesis that it is easier to bind a stimulus to context when the stimulus already has a stable (i.e., pre-existing) memory representation by comparing episodic memory of faces of celebrities vs. unknown individuals. Each face was superimposed on a picture of a well-known location (e.g., Eiffel Tower) during encoding and at a later unexpected recognition test but the background could change from encoding to test. Although recognition was to be based on the face, irrespective of background, performance was better when encoding context was reinstated. Further, a given background could be shown with many faces ("high fan") or only a few ("low fan") and this variable modulated the value added of context reinstatement. Importantly, manipulations of context only mattered for famous faces. As predicted, these effects were observed in recollection ("Remember") responses not in familiarity (“Know”) responses. Experiment 2 used the same design except that half of the subjects were administered midazolam, a drug that produces temporary anterograde amnesia, prior to encoding faces and backgrounds. Subjects injected with saline (control condition) showed the same pattern as Experiment 1; however subjects injected with midazolam showed a large decrease in the use of the "Remember" responses for famous faces and neither context reinstatement nor background fan affected performance. These results support the view that it is easier to bind stimuli to context when stimuli have a pre-existing, stable memory representation (e.g., faces of people whose identity we know) than when stimuli do not have pre-existing, stable memory representations.
PMCID: PMC4180115  PMID: 23395827
Recollection; familiarity; binding; memory; amnesia; faces; context
21.  Recollection can be Weak and Familiarity can be Strong 
The Remember/Know procedure is widely used to investigate recollection and familiarity in recognition memory, but almost all of the results obtained using that procedure can be readily accommodated by a unidimensional model based on signal-detection theory. The unidimensional model holds that Remember judgments reflect strong memories (associated with high confidence, high accuracy, and fast reaction times), whereas Know judgments reflect weaker memories (associated with lower confidence, lower accuracy, and slower reaction times). Although this is invariably true on average, a new two-dimensional account (the Continuous Dual-Process model) suggests that Remember judgments made with low confidence should be associated with lower old/new accuracy, but higher source accuracy, than Know judgments made with high confidence. We tested this prediction – and found evidence to support it – using a modified Remember/Know procedure in which participants were first asked to indicate a degree of recollection-based or familiarity-based confidence for each word presented on a recognition test and were then asked to recollect the color (red or blue) and screen location (top or bottom) associated with the word at study. For familiarity-based decisions, old/new accuracy increased with old/new confidence, but source accuracy did not (suggesting that stronger old/new memory was supported by higher degrees of familiarity). For recollection-based decisions, both old/new accuracy and source accuracy increased with old/new confidence (suggesting that stronger old/new memory was supported by higher degrees of recollection). These findings suggest that recollection and familiarity are continuous processes and that participants can indicate which process mainly contributed to their recognition decisions.
PMCID: PMC3345268  PMID: 21967320
22.  Episodic memory in schizophrenia: The influence of strategy use on behavior and brain activation 
Psychiatry research  2008;164(1):1-15.
Individuals with schizophrenia demonstrate behavioral and neurobiological deficits in episodic memory. However, recent work suggests that episodic memory deficits in schizophrenia may be mitigated through specific encoding strategies. The current study directly compared brain activity and memory performance associated with two different verbal encoding orientations in the same group of schizophrenia participants, in order to more fully characterize the role of strategy in memory processing in this population. Participants included 18 individuals with schizophrenia and 15 healthy comparison participants. Participants encoded words under two conditions during separate fMRI scanning runs. During Incidental encoding, participants were required to make abstract/concrete judgments for each word. During Intentional encoding, participants were instructed to memorize each word for a later memory test. Free recall and a recognition task (utilizing the Remember/Know paradigm) were performed outside of the scanner. Consistent with prior work, schizophrenia participants recognized more words encoded Incidentally than Intentionally, although free recall remained substantially impaired. Schizophrenia participants were also less likely to give Remember judgments for old words and more likely to give Guess judgments for both old and new words. When fMRI data were examined, we found that Incidental encoding was associated with substantially fewer between-group differences (Control > Schizophrenia) than Intentional encoding. Furthermore, schizophrenia participants exhibited intact activity during encoding of items that were subsequently retrieved. Our results suggest that use of an Incidental encoding strategy improved recognition memory among individuals with schizophrenia and resulted in a pattern of encoding-related brain activity that was more similar to that seen in control participants. However, we found that Incidental encoding did not improve free recall in schizophrenia participants and abnormal brain activity in some regions was observed, despite improvements in recognition memory.
PMCID: PMC2659741  PMID: 18790618
functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); subsequent memory; incidental encoding
23.  Recognition Memory for Braille or Spoken Words: An fMRI study in Early Blind 
Brain Research  2011;1438:22-34.
We examined cortical activity in early blind during word recognition memory. Nine participants were blind at birth and one by 1.5 yrs. In an event-related design, we studied blood oxygen level-dependent responses to studied (“old”) compared to novel (“new”) words. Presentation mode was in Braille or spoken. Responses were larger for identified “new” words read with Braille in bilateral lower and higher tier visual areas and primary somatosensory cortex. Responses to spoken “new” words were larger in bilateral primary and accessory auditory cortex. Auditory cortex was unresponsive to Braille words and occipital cortex responded to spoken words but not differentially with “old”/“new” recognition. Left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex had larger responses to “old” words only with Braille. Larger occipital cortex responses to “new” Braille words suggested verbal memory based on the mechanism of recollection. A previous report in sighted noted larger responses for “new” words studied in association with pictures that created a distinctiveness heuristic source factor which enhanced recollection during remembering. Prior behavioral studies in early blind noted an exceptional ability to recall words. Utilization of this skill by participants in the current study possibly engendered recollection that augmented remembering “old” words. A larger response when identifying “new” words possibly resulted from exhaustive recollecting the sensory properties of “old” words in modality appropriate sensory cortices. The uniqueness of a memory role for occipital cortex is in its cross-modal responses to coding tactile properties of Braille. The latter possibly reflects a “sensory echo” that aids recollection.
PMCID: PMC3273673  PMID: 22251836
occipital cortex; magnetic resonance imaging; blindness; recollection
24.  Could masked conceptual primes increase recollection? The subtleties of measuring recollection and familiarity in recognition memory 
Neuropsychologia  2012;50(13):3027-3040.
We begin with a theoretical overview of the concepts of recollection and familiarity, focusing, in the spirit of this special issue, on the important contributions made by Andrew Mayes. In particular, we discuss the issue of when the generation of semantically-related information in response to a retrieval cue might be experienced as recollection rather than familiarity. We then report a series of experiments in which two different types of masked prime, presented immediately prior to the test cue in a recognition memory paradigm, produced opposite effects on Remember vs. Know judgments. More specifically, primes that were conceptually related to the test item increased the incidence of Remember judgments, though only when intermixed with repetition primes (which increased the incidence of Know judgments instead, as in prior studies). One possible explanation—that the fluency of retrieval of item–context associations can be experienced as recollection, even when the source of that fluency is unknown—is counter to conventional views of recollection and familiarity, though it was anticipated by Andrew in his writings nearly two decades ago.
► We review the estimation of recollection and familiarity, inspired by Andrew Mayes. ► In a recognition memory experiment, masked primes were shown before test cue words. ► Repetition primes increased ‘familiar’ responses, both hits and false alarms. ► Conceptual primes increased remember' responses (recollection), for hits only.
PMCID: PMC3500693  PMID: 22898644
Remember/know; Source memory; Context; Episodic; Priming
25.  Déjà vu experiences in healthy subjects are unrelated to laboratory tests of recollection and familiarity for word stimuli 
Recent neuropsychological and neuroscientific research suggests that people who experience more déjà vu display characteristic patterns in normal recognition memory. We conducted a large individual differences study (n = 206) to test these predictions using recollection and familiarity parameters recovered from a standard memory task. Participants reported déjà vu frequency and a number of its correlates, and completed a recognition memory task analogous to a Remember-Know procedure. The individual difference measures replicated an established correlation between déjà vu frequency and frequency of travel, and recognition performance showed well-established word frequency and accuracy effects. Contrary to predictions, no relationships were found between déjà vu frequency and recollection or familiarity memory parameters from the recognition test. We suggest that déjà vu in the healthy population reflects a mismatch between errant memory signaling and memory monitoring processes not easily characterized by standard recognition memory task performance.
PMCID: PMC3842028  PMID: 24409159
déjà vu; memory; recognition; recollection; familiarity

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