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Preparing predicts recall: An event-related potential (ERP) study

Choy, TL; (2008) Preparing predicts recall: An event-related potential (ERP) study. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access


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Contemporary findings have found neural activity preceding event onset to accurately predict its later recognition. This highlights the importance of pre- stimulus neural activity in memory formation, in contrast to previous research focusing on post-stimulus activity. The activity's functional significance is unknown, as it was unclear if the activity was an inherent brain state, or under conscious control. The current study examined the volitional control of pre-stirnulus activity in recall prediction, using instructed mnemonics of rote and elaborative strategies. 24 healthy young adults memorized short lists of intermixed visual-auditory words, with a cue of corresponding modality preceding each word. A written free recall task followed each word list, with electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded from 33 electrode sites. Results showed pre-srimulus activity to have a negative frontal distribution as before, but being maximal fronto-centrally, and predicting recall in the elaborative strategy, specifically the auditory condition. This reflected the activity's susceptibility to strategy differences and modality, demonstrating it to be voluntarily controlled. Further exarnination postulates it to be a necessary preparatory mechanism for memory, with implications in aging and learning.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Preparing predicts recall: An event-related potential (ERP) study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Neurology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1569690
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