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Benefits and costs of context reinstatement in episodic memory : An ERP study

Bramao, Ines LU and Johansson, Mikael LU (2017) In Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 29(1). p.52-64
Abstract

This study investigated context-dependent episodic memory retrieval. An influential idea in the memory literature is that performance benefits when the retrieval context overlaps with the original encoding context. However, such memory facilitation may not be driven by the encoding-retrieval overlap per se but by the presence of diagnostic features in the reinstated context that discriminate the target episode from competing episodes. To test this prediction, the encoding-retrieval overlap and the diagnostic value of the context were manipulated in a novel associative recognition memory task. Participants were asked to memorize word pairs presented together with diagnostic (unique) and nondiagnostic (shared) background scenes. At test,... (More)

This study investigated context-dependent episodic memory retrieval. An influential idea in the memory literature is that performance benefits when the retrieval context overlaps with the original encoding context. However, such memory facilitation may not be driven by the encoding-retrieval overlap per se but by the presence of diagnostic features in the reinstated context that discriminate the target episode from competing episodes. To test this prediction, the encoding-retrieval overlap and the diagnostic value of the context were manipulated in a novel associative recognition memory task. Participants were asked to memorize word pairs presented together with diagnostic (unique) and nondiagnostic (shared) background scenes. At test, participants recognized the word pairs in the presence and absence of the previously encoded contexts. Behavioral data show facilitated memory performance in the presence of the original context but, importantly, only when the context was diagnostic of the target episode. The electrophysiological data reveal an early anterior ERP encoding-retrieval overlap effect that tracks the cost associated with having nondiagnostic contexts present at retrieval, that is, shared by multiple previous episodes, and a later posterior encoding-retrieval overlap effect that reflects facilitated access to the target episode during retrieval in diagnostic contexts. Taken together, our results underscore the importance of the diagnostic value of the context and suggest that context-dependent episodic memory effects are multiple determined.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
volume
29
issue
1
pages
13 pages
publisher
MIT Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85000995934
ISSN
1530-8898
DOI
10.1162/jocn_a_01035
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a38cb03c-7947-414d-b155-413c5fc9e911
date added to LUP
2016-08-14 23:24:29
date last changed
2017-03-17 03:00:07
@article{a38cb03c-7947-414d-b155-413c5fc9e911,
  abstract     = {<p>This study investigated context-dependent episodic memory retrieval. An influential idea in the memory literature is that performance benefits when the retrieval context overlaps with the original encoding context. However, such memory facilitation may not be driven by the encoding-retrieval overlap per se but by the presence of diagnostic features in the reinstated context that discriminate the target episode from competing episodes. To test this prediction, the encoding-retrieval overlap and the diagnostic value of the context were manipulated in a novel associative recognition memory task. Participants were asked to memorize word pairs presented together with diagnostic (unique) and nondiagnostic (shared) background scenes. At test, participants recognized the word pairs in the presence and absence of the previously encoded contexts. Behavioral data show facilitated memory performance in the presence of the original context but, importantly, only when the context was diagnostic of the target episode. The electrophysiological data reveal an early anterior ERP encoding-retrieval overlap effect that tracks the cost associated with having nondiagnostic contexts present at retrieval, that is, shared by multiple previous episodes, and a later posterior encoding-retrieval overlap effect that reflects facilitated access to the target episode during retrieval in diagnostic contexts. Taken together, our results underscore the importance of the diagnostic value of the context and suggest that context-dependent episodic memory effects are multiple determined.</p>},
  author       = {Bramao, Ines and Johansson, Mikael},
  issn         = {1530-8898},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {52--64},
  publisher    = {MIT Press},
  series       = {Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience},
  title        = {Benefits and costs of context reinstatement in episodic memory : An ERP study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01035},
  volume       = {29},
  year         = {2017},
}