Encoding-related brain activity dissociates between the recollective processes underlying successful recall and recognition: A subsequent-memory study Academic Article uri icon


  • The subsequent-memory (SM) paradigm uncovers brain mechanisms that are associated with mnemonic activity during encoding by measuring participants' neural activity during encoding and classifying the encoding trials according to performance in the subsequent retrieval phase. The majority of these studies have converged on the notion that the mechanism supporting recognition is mediated by familiarity and recollection. The process of recollection is often assumed to be a recall-like process, implying that the active search for the memory trace is similar, if not identical, for recall and recognition. Here we challenge this assumption and hypothesize - based on previous findings obtained in our lab - that the recollective processes underlying recall and recognition might show dissociative patterns of encoding-related brain activity. To this end, our design controlled for familiarity, thereby focusing on contextual, recollective processes. We found evidence for dissociative neurocognitive encoding mechanisms supporting subsequent-recall and subsequent-recognition. Specifically, the contrast of subsequent-recognition versus subsequent-recall revealed activation in the Parahippocampal cortex (PHc) and the posterior hippocampus--regions associated with contextual processing. Implications of our findings and their relation to current cognitive models of recollection are discussed.

publication date

  • July 1, 2012