fMRI evidence of word frequency and strength effects in recognition memory

de Zubicaray, Greig I., McMahon, Katie L., Eastburn, Matthew M., Finnigan, Simon and Humphreys, Michael S. (2005) fMRI evidence of word frequency and strength effects in recognition memory. Cognitive Brain Research, 24 3: 587-598. doi:10.1016/j.cogbrainres.2005.03.009

Author de Zubicaray, Greig I.
McMahon, Katie L.
Eastburn, Matthew M.
Finnigan, Simon
Humphreys, Michael S.
Title fMRI evidence of word frequency and strength effects in recognition memory
Journal name Cognitive Brain Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0926-6410; 1872-6348; 0006-8993; 0169-328X; 1385-299X; 1872-6240
Publication date 2005-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cogbrainres.2005.03.009
Volume 24
Issue 3
Start page 587
End page 598
Total pages 12
Editor F.E. Bloom
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
380200 Linguistics
730111 Hearing, vision, speech and their disorders
1109 Neurosciences
Formatted abstract
We used event-related fMRl to investigate the neural correlates of encoding strength and word frequency effects in recognition memory. At test, participants made Old/New decisions to intermixed low (LF) and high frequency (HF) words that had been presented once or twice at study and to new, unstudied words. The Old/New effect for all hits vs. correctly rejected unstudied words was associated with differential activity in multiple cortical regions, including the anterior medial temporal lobe (MTL), hippocampus, left lateral parietal cortex and anterior left inferior prefrontal cortex (LIPC). Items repeated at study had Superior hit rates (HR) compared to items presented once and were associated with reduced activity in the right anterior MTL. By contrast, other regions that had shown conventional Old/New effects did not demonstrate modulation according to memory strength. A mirror effect for word frequency was demonstrated, with the LF word HR advantage associated with increased activity in the left lateral temporal cortex. However, none of the regions that had demonstrated Old[New item retrieval effects showed modulation according to word frequency. These findings are interpreted as supporting single-process memory models proposing a unitary strength-like memory signal and models attributing the LF word HR advantage to the greater lexico-semantic context-noise associated with HF words due to their being experienced in many pre-experimental contexts.
Keyword Neural basis of behaviour
Word frequency
Episodic memory
Encoding strength
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 07:19:37 EST