Bridging divergent neural models of recognition memory: Introduction to the special issue and commentary on key issues

Joel L. Voss*, Ken A. Paller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This special issue reviews progress that has been made in recent years in understanding neural processing relevant for recognition memory. Here we describe how the nine reviews that comprise this issue weigh in on some of the most pressing and hotly debated issues in the study of recognition memory, including: (1) the number of processes that support recognition, (2) the nature of these processes, and (3) how these processes map onto neural processing events and brain structures. We then discuss the challenges inherent in attempting to incorporate the fundamentally different types of information that result from various cognitive neuroscience methods (e.g., electrophysiological recordings of neurons, lesion-deficit studies, analyses of brain potentials and activations, modeling of behavioral responses, and phenomenological reports), and make suggestions for how to better integrate these disparate data types when making inferences about recognition memory. As the articles in this special issue make clear, great strides have been made in understanding how organisms are able to appreciate repetition. And yet, several controversies in this area have still not been resolved, but these articles clarify the core disagreements as well as the tests that must be conducted to seek resolution. This special issue as a whole should thus facilitate advancements in the future study of the neural mechanisms of recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1171-1177
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010


  • Explicit memory
  • Familiarity
  • Recognition memory
  • Recollection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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