Orientation to learning context modulates retrieval processing for unrecognized words

Chun Yan Guo, Wen Jun Chen, Tian Tian, Ken A. Paller, Joel L. Voss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Explicit memory errors may occur when individuals fail to retrieve information about items previously studied (item memory) or about the learning context (source memory). We examined electrophysiological measures during recognition failure in order to determine the influence of retrieval orientation for item versus source information. Recognition failure was associated with brain potentials distinct from those associated with success. Furthermore, source-memory failures were associated with earlier-onset brain potentials with a more anterior distribution compared to item-memory failures. Neurocognitive processing was thus modulated by retrieval orientation so as to differentially influence neural correlates of successful versus unsuccessful retrieval.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2966-2973
Number of pages8
JournalChinese Science Bulletin
Issue number26
StatePublished - 2010


  • ERP
  • event-related potential
  • item memory
  • recognition memory
  • retrieval orientation
  • source memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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