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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Characterizing Episodic Memory Retrieval: Electrophysiological Evidence for Diminished Familiarity following Unitization
Author(s): Pilgrim, Lesley Karen
Murray, Jamie
Donaldson, David
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Issue Date: Aug-2012
Citation: Pilgrim LK, Murray J & Donaldson D (2012) Characterizing Episodic Memory Retrieval: Electrophysiological Evidence for Diminished Familiarity following Unitization, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24 (8), pp. 1671-1681.
Abstract: Episodic memory relies on both recollection and familiarity; why these processes are differentially engaged during retrieval remains unclear. Traditionally, recollection has been considered necessary for tasks requiring associative retrieval, whereas familiarity supports recognition of items. Recently, however, familiarity has been shown to contribute to associative recognition if stimuli are "unitized" at encoding (a single representation is created from multiple elements)-the "benefit" of unitization. Here, we ask if there is also a "cost" of unitization; are the elements of unitized representations less accessible via familiarity? We manipulated unitization during encoding and used ERPs to index familiarity and recollection at retrieval. The data revealed a selective reduction in the neural correlate of familiarity for individual words originally encoded in unitized compared with nonunitized word pairs. This finding reveals a measurable cost of unitization, suggesting that the nature of to-be-remembered stimuli is critical in determining whether familiarity contributes to episodic memory.
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Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, August 2012, Vol. 24, No. 8, Pages 1671-1681, by MIT Press, copyright Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012. The original publication is available at

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