Event Abstract

Semantic associations in a recognition memory task: an ERP-study

  • 1 University of Wuppertal, General and Biological Psychology, Germany

Roediger and McDermott (1995) showed that words are falsely recognized, when they provide many associated items in the stimulus set. The Associative Read-Out Model (AROM) is the first interactive model with an implemented semantic layer (Hofmann et al., 2011). It suggests that two words are associated, when they co-occur significantly more often together in sentences than predictable by chance (see Hofmann et al., 2011). We conducted a recognition memory task, in which 80 words were presented in a study phase. These studied words had to be discriminated from 80 non-studied (N=33). We crossed this Oldness factor with the number of associated words in a 2x2 rmANOVA design. High co-occurrence words had at least 8 associated words in the stimulus set, and low co-occurrence words less than 8. We not only replicated that high co-occurrence words increased the “yes” response in studied and non-studied words (Hofmann & Jacobs, in press), but we also found a significant interaction of Oldness and Co-occurrence in the reaction times, showing slowest reaction times for high co-occurrence non-studied words and fastest for high co-occurrence studied words. The Event-related potentials recorded from 32-channels during the test phase showed significant Oldness and Co-occurrence main effects for the N400 amplitude. The N400 was smaller for high co-occurrence and studied words and larger for low co-occurrence and non-studied words, which was predicted by the neurobiologically plausible AROM (Hofmann & Jacobs, in press).


Hofmann, M.J., Jacobs, A.M. (2014, in press). Interactive Activation and Competition Models and Semantic Context: From Behavioral to Brain Data. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. doi://10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.06.011

Hofmann, M. J., Kuchinke, L., Biemann, C., Tamm, S., Jacobs, A. M. (2011). Remembering words in context as predicted by an Associative Read-Out Model. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 252.

Roediger, H.L. & McDermott, K.B. (1995). Creating false memories: remembering words not presented in lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21(4), 803-814.

Keywords: N400, yes response, Associative Read-Out Model (AROM), semantic associations, Event-related potentials, false memory, associative activation spreading, recognition memory task

Conference: Neuroscience Ireland Young Neuroscientists Symposium 2014 , Dublin, Ireland, 20 Sep - 20 Sep, 2014.

Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

Topic: Early Career Neuroscience

Citation: Stüllein N, Hofmann MJ and Radach R (2014). Semantic associations in a recognition memory task: an ERP-study. Front. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: Neuroscience Ireland Young Neuroscientists Symposium 2014 . doi: 10.3389/conf.fnins.2014.87.00021

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Received: 12 Sep 2014; Published Online: 12 Sep 2014.

* Correspondence: Miss. Nicole Stüllein, University of Wuppertal, General and Biological Psychology, Wuppertal, 42119, Germany, NStuellein@gmx.de

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