Electrophysiological correlates of emotional source memory in high-trait-anxiety individuals

Cui, Lixia, Shi, Guangyuan, He, Fan, Zhang, Qin, Oei, Tian P. S. and Guo, Chunyan (2016) Electrophysiological correlates of emotional source memory in high-trait-anxiety individuals. Frontiers in Psychology, 7 JUL: 1-10. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01039


Author Cui, Lixia
Shi, Guangyuan
He, Fan
Zhang, Qin
Oei, Tian P. S.
Guo, Chunyan
Title Electrophysiological correlates of emotional source memory in high-trait-anxiety individuals
Journal name Frontiers in Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1664-1078
Publication date 2016-07-12
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01039
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 7
Issue JUL
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract The interaction between recognition memory and emotion has become a research hotspot in recent years. Dual process theory posits that familiarity and recollection are two separate processes contributing to recognition memory, but further experimental evidence is needed. The present study explored the emotional context effects on successful and unsuccessful source retrieval amongst 15 high-trait-anxiety college students by using event-related potentials (ERPs) measurement. During study, a happy, fearful, or neutral face picture first was displayed, then a Chinese word was superimposed centrally on the picture and subjects were asked to remember the word and the corresponding type of picture. During the test participants were instructed to press one of four buttons to indicate whether the displayed word was an old or new word. And then, for the old word, indicate whether it had been shown with a fearful, happy, or neutral face during the study. ERPs were generally more positive for remembered words than for new words and the ERP difference was termed as an old/new effect. It was found that, for successful source retrieval (it meant both the item and the source were remembered accurately) between 500 and 700 ms (corresponding to a late positive component, LPC), there were significant old/new effects in all contexts. However, for unsuccessful source retrieval (it meant the correct recognition of old items matched with incorrect source attribution), there were no significant old/new effects in happy and neutral contexts, though significant old/new effects were observed in the fearful context. Between 700 and 1200 ms (corresponding to a late slow wave, LSW), there were significant old/new effects for successful source retrieval in happy and neutral contexts. However, in the fearful context, the old/new effects were reversed, ERPs were more negative for successful source retrieval compared to correct rejections. Moreover, there were significant emotion effects for successful source retrieval at this time window. Further analysis showed ERPs of old items were more negative in fearful context than in neutral context. The results showed that early unsuccessful fearful source retrieval processes (related to familiarity) were enhanced, but late successful fearful source retrieval processes during source retrieval monitoring (related to recollection) were weakened. This provided preliminary evidence for the dual processing theory.
Keyword Anxiety
Source memory
Old/new effect
Emotion effect
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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