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The role of perceptual information for episodic memory in children and young adults: electrophysiological and behavioral correlates of recollection and familiarity

  • In this dissertation, I will present the studies conducted during my doctoral studies. In spite of a lot of research in the last decades, the complex cognitive processes underlying human memory are not fully unraveled. Furthermore, the development of neuroscientific methods like functional mag-netic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related potentials (ERPs) have further build a founda-tion for new insights. Naturally, the utilization of these techniques led to further adaptation of both these techniques and the paradigms in which they have been employed. This can be observed in the research literature on episodic memory retrieval. Familiarity and recollection, have been found to be the chief factors at play during memory retrieval. The two processes have been thoroughly characterized in several studies and reviews (e.g., Mecklinger, 2000; Rugg & Curran, 2007; Yonelinas, 2002; Zimmer & Ecker, 2010), yet there are still open questions that have to be ad-dressed by researchers in this field (c.f., Leynes, Bruett, Krizan, & Veloso, 2017; MacLeod & Donaldson, 2017). In order to answer these questions, we conducted several studies during my doctoral studies. In Study 1, we developed a paradigm to investigated episodic memory using ERPs. In the study phase, pictorial stimuli were presented which at test were either perceptually identical, perceptually changed, or entirely new. Data collected from a sample of young adults revealed that the paradigm was suitable to elicit ERP correlates of both familiarity and recollection. As the newly developed paradigm yielded similar results as existing literature, we then applied this paradigm in two devel-opmental populations, second-graders and fifth-graders. According to the ERPs, the younger chil-dren seemed to rely on recollection alone, whereas ERPs of older children suggested the use of familiarity for perceptually identical items and only after intentional encoding. In a follow-up study two years later, we used the results from both studies to only slightly refine the paradigm, again administering it to young adults. In this study, Study 3, we found that ERP correlates were much smaller than in the earlier studies, hence we used a data-driven approach to detect time windows of interest. In spite of the large body of research on episodic memory, these studies serve to demon-strate that episodic memory is a complex interplay of several contributing cognitive processes which need to assessed carefully in order to unravel the key factors at play during familiarity and recollection.

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Author:André Haese
URN (permanent link):urn:nbn:de:hbz:386-kluedo-62135
Advisor:Daniela Czernochowski
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2021/01/13
Date of first Publication:2021/01/13
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2020/12/16
Date of the Publication (Server):2021/01/14
Tag:EEG; Elektrophysiologie; Gedächtnis; Rekollektion; Vertrautheit
GND-Keyword:Entwicklungspsychologie; Experimentelle Psychologie; Kognition; Kognitive Psychologie; Physiologische Psychologie; Psychologie
Number of page:111
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Sozialwissenschaften
DDC-Cassification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell, keine Bearbeitung (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)