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Adapting to changing memory retrieval demands: Evidence from event-related potentials

Benoit, RG; Werkle-Bergner, M; Mecklinger, A; Kray, J; (2009) Adapting to changing memory retrieval demands: Evidence from event-related potentials. Brain and Cognition , 70 (1) 123 - 135.

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Abstract

This study investigated preparatory processes involved in adapting to changing episodic memory retrieval demands. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants performed a general old/new recognition task and a specific task that also required retrieval of perceptual details. The relevant task remained either constant or changed (predictably or randomly) across trials. Responses were slowed when participants switched from the specific to the general task but not vice versa. Hence, asymmetrical switch costs were observed, suggesting that retrieval preparation is dependent not only on the current retrieval goal but also influenced by recent retrieval attempts. Consistently, over posterior scalp regions ERPs associated with advance preparation were modulated by the preceding task, reflecting increased attentional selection requirements for the general task, and by the foreknowledge about the task sequence. When retrieval demands remained constant, frontal slow-waves elicited by retrieval cues were more positive-going for the specific task, indicating full implementation of a retrieval orientation that allows more efficient retrieval of perceptual details.

Type:Article
Title:Adapting to changing memory retrieval demands: Evidence from event-related potentials
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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