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Competitive Semantic Memory Retrieval: Temporal Dynamics Revealed by Event-Related Potentials

Hellerstedt, Robin LU and Johansson, Mikael LU (2016) In PLoS ONE 11(2).
Abstract
Memories compete for retrieval when they are related to a common retrieval cue. Previous

research has shown that retrieval of a target memory may lead to subsequent retrievalinduced

forgetting (RIF) of currently irrelevant competing memories. In the present study,

we investigated the time course of competitive semantic retrieval and examined the neurocognitive

mechanisms underlying RIF. We contrasted two theoretical accounts of RIF by

examining a critical aspect of this memory phenomenon, namely the extent to which it

depends on successful retrieval of the target memory. Participants first studied categoryexemplar

word-pairs (e.g. Fruit—Apple). Next, we recorded... (More)
Memories compete for retrieval when they are related to a common retrieval cue. Previous

research has shown that retrieval of a target memory may lead to subsequent retrievalinduced

forgetting (RIF) of currently irrelevant competing memories. In the present study,

we investigated the time course of competitive semantic retrieval and examined the neurocognitive

mechanisms underlying RIF. We contrasted two theoretical accounts of RIF by

examining a critical aspect of this memory phenomenon, namely the extent to which it

depends on successful retrieval of the target memory. Participants first studied categoryexemplar

word-pairs (e.g. Fruit—Apple). Next, we recorded electrophysiological measures

of brain activity while the participants performed a competitive semantic cued-recall task. In

this task, the participants were provided with the studied categories but they were instructed

to retrieve other unstudied exemplars (e.g. Fruit—Ma__?). We investigated the eventrelated

potential (ERP) correlates of retrieval success by comparing ERPs from successful

and failed retrieval trials. To isolate the ERP correlates of continuous retrieval attempts from

the ERP correlates of retrieval success, we included an impossible retrieval condition, with

incompletable word-stem cues (Drinks—Wy__) and compared it with a non-retrieval presentation

baseline condition (Occupation—Dentist). The participants’ memory for all the

studied exemplars was tested in the final phase of the experiment. Taken together, the

behavioural results suggest that RIF is independent of target retrieval. Beyond investigating

the mechanisms underlying RIF, the present study also elucidates the temporal dynamics

of semantic cued-recall by isolating the ERP correlates of retrieval attempt and retrieval success.

The ERP results revealed that retrieval attempt is reflected in a late posterior negativity,

possibly indicating construction of candidates for completing the word-stem cue and

retrieval monitoring whereas retrieval success was reflected in an anterior positive slow

wave. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
strength dependence, retrieval-induced forgetting, LPN, ERP, cued recall, semantic memory
in
PLoS ONE
volume
11
issue
2
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • pmid:26901865
  • scopus:84960501398
  • wos:000371276100205
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0150091
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fd3709c9-3f95-4a3c-89a7-db1c1d0fdd70 (old id 8773917)
date added to LUP
2016-02-26 08:42:56
date last changed
2017-07-23 04:26:12
@article{fd3709c9-3f95-4a3c-89a7-db1c1d0fdd70,
  abstract     = {Memories compete for retrieval when they are related to a common retrieval cue. Previous<br/><br>
research has shown that retrieval of a target memory may lead to subsequent retrievalinduced<br/><br>
forgetting (RIF) of currently irrelevant competing memories. In the present study,<br/><br>
we investigated the time course of competitive semantic retrieval and examined the neurocognitive<br/><br>
mechanisms underlying RIF. We contrasted two theoretical accounts of RIF by<br/><br>
examining a critical aspect of this memory phenomenon, namely the extent to which it<br/><br>
depends on successful retrieval of the target memory. Participants first studied categoryexemplar<br/><br>
word-pairs (e.g. Fruit—Apple). Next, we recorded electrophysiological measures<br/><br>
of brain activity while the participants performed a competitive semantic cued-recall task. In<br/><br>
this task, the participants were provided with the studied categories but they were instructed<br/><br>
to retrieve other unstudied exemplars (e.g. Fruit—Ma__?). We investigated the eventrelated<br/><br>
potential (ERP) correlates of retrieval success by comparing ERPs from successful<br/><br>
and failed retrieval trials. To isolate the ERP correlates of continuous retrieval attempts from<br/><br>
the ERP correlates of retrieval success, we included an impossible retrieval condition, with<br/><br>
incompletable word-stem cues (Drinks—Wy__) and compared it with a non-retrieval presentation<br/><br>
baseline condition (Occupation—Dentist). The participants’ memory for all the<br/><br>
studied exemplars was tested in the final phase of the experiment. Taken together, the<br/><br>
behavioural results suggest that RIF is independent of target retrieval. Beyond investigating<br/><br>
the mechanisms underlying RIF, the present study also elucidates the temporal dynamics<br/><br>
of semantic cued-recall by isolating the ERP correlates of retrieval attempt and retrieval success.<br/><br>
The ERP results revealed that retrieval attempt is reflected in a late posterior negativity,<br/><br>
possibly indicating construction of candidates for completing the word-stem cue and<br/><br>
retrieval monitoring whereas retrieval success was reflected in an anterior positive slow<br/><br>
wave.},
  articleno    = {e0150091},
  author       = {Hellerstedt, Robin and Johansson, Mikael},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  keyword      = {strength dependence,retrieval-induced forgetting,LPN,ERP,cued recall,semantic memory},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Competitive Semantic Memory Retrieval: Temporal Dynamics Revealed by Event-Related Potentials},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0150091},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2016},
}