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      Recognition Memory is Improved by a Structured Temporal Framework During Encoding

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          In order to function optimally within our environment, we continuously extract temporal patterns from our experiences and formulate expectations that facilitate adaptive behavior. Given that our memories are embedded within spatiotemporal contexts, an intriguing possibility is that mnemonic processes are sensitive to the temporal structure of events. To test this hypothesis, in a series of behavioral experiments we manipulated the regularity of interval durations at encoding to create temporally structured and unstructured frameworks. Our findings revealed enhanced recognition memory ( d′) for stimuli that were explicitly encoded within a temporally structured vs. unstructured framework. Encoding information within a temporally structured framework was also associated with a reduction in the negative effects of proactive interference and was linked to greater recollective recognition memory. Furthermore, rhythmic temporal structure was found to enhance recognition memory for incidentally encoded information. Collectively, these results support the possibility that we possess a greater capacity to learn and subsequently remember temporally structured information.

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          Most cited references 41

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          Pragmatics of measuring recognition memory: applications to dementia and amnesia.

          This article has two purposes. The first is to describe four theoretical models of yes-no recognition memory and present their associated measures of discrimination and response bias. These models are then applied to a set of data from normal subjects to determine which pairs of discrimination and bias indices show independence between discrimination and bias. The following models demonstrated independence: a two-high-threshold model, a signal detection model with normal distributions using d' and C (rather than beta), and a signal detection model with logistic distributions and a bias measure analogous to C. C is defined as the distance of criterion from the intersection of the two underlying distributions. The second purpose is to use the indices from the acceptable models to characterize recognition memory deficits in dementia and amnesia. Young normal subjects, Alzheimer's disease patients, and parkinsonian dementia patients were tested with picture recognition tasks with repeated study-test trials. Huntington's disease patients, mixed etiology amnesics, and age-matched normals were tested by Butters, Wolfe, Martone, Granholm, and Cermak (1985) using the same paradigm with word stimuli. Demented and amnesic patients produced distinctly different patterns of abnormal memory performance. Both groups of demented patients showed poor discrimination and abnormally liberal response bias for words (Huntington's disease) and pictures (Alzheimer's disease and parkinsonian dementia), whereas the amnesic patients showed the worst discrimination but normal response bias for words. Although both signal detection theory and two-high-threshold discrimination parameters showed identical results, the bias measure from the two-high-threshold model was more sensitive to change than the bias measure (C) from signal detection theory. Three major points are emphasized. First, any index of recognition memory performance assumes an underlying model. Second, even acceptable models can lead to different conclusions about patterns of learning and forgetting. Third, efforts to characterize and ameliorate abnormal memory should address both discrimination and bias deficits.
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            Recognizing: The judgment of previous occurrence.

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              Internally generated cell assembly sequences in the rat hippocampus.

              A long-standing conjecture in neuroscience is that aspects of cognition depend on the brain's ability to self-generate sequential neuronal activity. We found that reliably and continually changing cell assemblies in the rat hippocampus appeared not only during spatial navigation but also in the absence of changing environmental or body-derived inputs. During the delay period of a memory task, each moment in time was characterized by the activity of a particular assembly of neurons. Identical initial conditions triggered a similar assembly sequence, whereas different conditions gave rise to different sequences, thereby predicting behavioral choices, including errors. Such sequences were not formed in control (nonmemory) tasks. We hypothesize that neuronal representations, evolved for encoding distance in spatial navigation, also support episodic recall and the planning of action sequences.

                Author and article information

                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                20 January 2016
                : 6
                1Department of Psychology (Scarborough), University of Toronto, Toronto ON, Canada
                2Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, Toronto ON, Canada
                Author notes

                Edited by: Miriam Ittyerah, Institute for Communicative and Cognitive Neurosciences, India

                Reviewed by: Giovanni Mento, University of Padua, Italy; Sandra Düzel, Max-Planck-Institute for Human Development, Germany

                *Correspondence: Sathesan Thavabalasingam, tsathesan@ ; Andy C. H. Lee, andych.lee@

                This article was submitted to Cognition, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Copyright © 2016 Thavabalasingam, O’Neil, Zeng and Lee.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 44, Pages: 11, Words: 0
                Funded by: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada 10.13039/501100000038
                Award ID: 402651-11, 412309-11
                Original Research


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