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ERIC Number: EJ923608
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0028-3932
The Role of Episodic Memory in Controlled Evaluative Judgments about Attitudes: An Event-Related Potential Study
Johnson, Ray, Jr.; Simon, Elizabeth J.; Henkell, Heather; Zhu, John
Neuropsychologia, v49 n5 p945-960 Apr 2011
Event-related potentials (ERPs) are unique in their ability to provide information about the timing of activity in the neural networks that perform complex cognitive processes. Given the dearth of extant data from normal controls on the question of whether attitude representations are stored in episodic or semantic memory, the goal here was to study the nature of the memory representations used during conscious attitude evaluations. Thus, we recorded ERPs while participants performed three tasks: attitude evaluations (i.e., agree/disagree), autobiographical cued recall (i.e., You/Not You) and semantic evaluations (i.e., active/inactive). The key finding was that the parietal episodic memory (EM) effect, a well-established correlate of episodic recollection, was elicited by both attitude evaluations and autobiographical retrievals. By contrast, semantic evaluations of the same attitude items elicited less parietal activity, like that elicited by Not You cues, which only access semantic memory. In accord with hemodynamic results, attitude evaluations and autobiographical retrievals also produced overlapping patterns of slow potential (SP) activity from 500 to 900 ms preceding the response over left and right inferior frontal, anterior medial frontal and occipital brain areas. Significantly different patterns of SP activity were elicited in these locations for semantic evaluations and Not You cues. Taken together, the results indicate that attitude representations are stored in episodic memory. Retrieval timing varied as a function of task, with earlier retrievals in both evaluation conditions relative to those in the autobiographical condition. The differential roles and timing of memory retrieval in evaluative judgment and memory retrieval tasks are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A