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The beneficial effect of testing: an event-related potential study.

Bai CH, Bridger EK, Zimmer HD, Mecklinger A - Front Behav Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: The enhanced memory performance for items that are tested as compared to being restudied (the testing effect) is a frequently reported memory phenomenon.In this study, we utilized the ERP correlates of successful memory encoding to address this issue, hypothesizing that if the benefit of testing is due to retrieval-related processes at test then subsequent memory effects (SMEs) should resemble the ERP correlates of retrieval-based processing in their temporal and spatial characteristics.This result shows that the processes which allow items to be more memorable over time share qualitatively similar neural correlates with the processes that relate to successful retrieval at test.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Experimental Neuropsychology Unit, Department of Psychology, Saarland University Saarbrücken, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The enhanced memory performance for items that are tested as compared to being restudied (the testing effect) is a frequently reported memory phenomenon. According to the episodic context account of the testing effect, this beneficial effect of testing is related to a process which reinstates the previously learnt episodic information. Few studies have explored the neural correlates of this effect at the time point when testing takes place, however. In this study, we utilized the ERP correlates of successful memory encoding to address this issue, hypothesizing that if the benefit of testing is due to retrieval-related processes at test then subsequent memory effects (SMEs) should resemble the ERP correlates of retrieval-based processing in their temporal and spatial characteristics. Participants were asked to learn Swahili-German word pairs before items were presented in either a testing or a restudy condition. Memory performance was assessed immediately and 1-day later with a cued recall task. Successfully recalling items at test increased the likelihood that items were remembered over time compared to items which were only restudied. An ERP subsequent memory contrast (later remembered vs. later forgotten tested items), which reflects the engagement of processes that ensure items are recallable the next day were topographically comparable with the ERP correlate of immediate recollection (immediately remembered vs. immediately forgotten tested items). This result shows that the processes which allow items to be more memorable over time share qualitatively similar neural correlates with the processes that relate to successful retrieval at test. This finding supports the notion that testing is more beneficial than restudying on memory performance over time because of its engagement of retrieval processes, such as the re-encoding of actively retrieved memory representations.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Percent correct for tested and restudied items at cued recall on Day 1 and at final recall on Day 2. Error bars show 1 ± standard error mean.
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Figure 2: Percent correct for tested and restudied items at cued recall on Day 1 and at final recall on Day 2. Error bars show 1 ± standard error mean.

Mentions: Figure 2 shows mean proportions of correct recall for the testing/restudy conditions on Day 1 and Day 2. As revealed by a Shapiro-Wilk test for normality (Shapiro and Wilk, 1965) all four mean proportion scores were normally distributed (p>0.10). An ANOVA with factors testing/restudy condition and time (Day 1, 2 recall) revealed a main effect of time, F(1, 14) = 298.90, p < 0.01 and an interaction between testing/restudy conditions and time, F(1, 14) = 33.39, p < 0.01. To follow up the interaction effect, we compared the amount of recalled items between testing and restudy conditions on Day 1 and Day 2, respectively. The result showed that on Day 1 more restudied items (M = 0.68, SD = 0.13) were recalled than tested items (M = 0.62, SD = 0.10), t(14) = −2.31, p < 0.05, while on Day 2 this difference was reversed. A marginally significant testing effect was found on Day 2 where participants were able to recall more tested items (M = 0.35, SD = 0.09) than restudied items (M = 0.32, SD = 0.11), t(14) = 1.79, p = 0.10. In addition, the difference in the amount of correctly recalled items from Day 1 to Day 2 is significantly smaller in testing (Mean difference from Day 1 to Day 2 = 0.27, SD = 0.06) than in the restudy condition (Mean difference from Day 1 to Day 2 = 0.36, SD = 0.09), t(14) = −5.78, p < 0.01. This suggests that, once successfully recalled in Phase 2, tested items were less likely to be forgotten on Day 2 in comparison to merely restudied items. This benefit of testing from Day 1 to Day 2 recall allowed us to proceed with the ERP analysis to explore the neural underpinnings of this behavioral testing effect and its relevance on later memory performance as presented in the following.


The beneficial effect of testing: an event-related potential study.

Bai CH, Bridger EK, Zimmer HD, Mecklinger A - Front Behav Neurosci (2015)

Percent correct for tested and restudied items at cued recall on Day 1 and at final recall on Day 2. Error bars show 1 ± standard error mean.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4584999&req=5

Figure 2: Percent correct for tested and restudied items at cued recall on Day 1 and at final recall on Day 2. Error bars show 1 ± standard error mean.
Mentions: Figure 2 shows mean proportions of correct recall for the testing/restudy conditions on Day 1 and Day 2. As revealed by a Shapiro-Wilk test for normality (Shapiro and Wilk, 1965) all four mean proportion scores were normally distributed (p>0.10). An ANOVA with factors testing/restudy condition and time (Day 1, 2 recall) revealed a main effect of time, F(1, 14) = 298.90, p < 0.01 and an interaction between testing/restudy conditions and time, F(1, 14) = 33.39, p < 0.01. To follow up the interaction effect, we compared the amount of recalled items between testing and restudy conditions on Day 1 and Day 2, respectively. The result showed that on Day 1 more restudied items (M = 0.68, SD = 0.13) were recalled than tested items (M = 0.62, SD = 0.10), t(14) = −2.31, p < 0.05, while on Day 2 this difference was reversed. A marginally significant testing effect was found on Day 2 where participants were able to recall more tested items (M = 0.35, SD = 0.09) than restudied items (M = 0.32, SD = 0.11), t(14) = 1.79, p = 0.10. In addition, the difference in the amount of correctly recalled items from Day 1 to Day 2 is significantly smaller in testing (Mean difference from Day 1 to Day 2 = 0.27, SD = 0.06) than in the restudy condition (Mean difference from Day 1 to Day 2 = 0.36, SD = 0.09), t(14) = −5.78, p < 0.01. This suggests that, once successfully recalled in Phase 2, tested items were less likely to be forgotten on Day 2 in comparison to merely restudied items. This benefit of testing from Day 1 to Day 2 recall allowed us to proceed with the ERP analysis to explore the neural underpinnings of this behavioral testing effect and its relevance on later memory performance as presented in the following.

Bottom Line: The enhanced memory performance for items that are tested as compared to being restudied (the testing effect) is a frequently reported memory phenomenon.In this study, we utilized the ERP correlates of successful memory encoding to address this issue, hypothesizing that if the benefit of testing is due to retrieval-related processes at test then subsequent memory effects (SMEs) should resemble the ERP correlates of retrieval-based processing in their temporal and spatial characteristics.This result shows that the processes which allow items to be more memorable over time share qualitatively similar neural correlates with the processes that relate to successful retrieval at test.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Experimental Neuropsychology Unit, Department of Psychology, Saarland University Saarbrücken, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The enhanced memory performance for items that are tested as compared to being restudied (the testing effect) is a frequently reported memory phenomenon. According to the episodic context account of the testing effect, this beneficial effect of testing is related to a process which reinstates the previously learnt episodic information. Few studies have explored the neural correlates of this effect at the time point when testing takes place, however. In this study, we utilized the ERP correlates of successful memory encoding to address this issue, hypothesizing that if the benefit of testing is due to retrieval-related processes at test then subsequent memory effects (SMEs) should resemble the ERP correlates of retrieval-based processing in their temporal and spatial characteristics. Participants were asked to learn Swahili-German word pairs before items were presented in either a testing or a restudy condition. Memory performance was assessed immediately and 1-day later with a cued recall task. Successfully recalling items at test increased the likelihood that items were remembered over time compared to items which were only restudied. An ERP subsequent memory contrast (later remembered vs. later forgotten tested items), which reflects the engagement of processes that ensure items are recallable the next day were topographically comparable with the ERP correlate of immediate recollection (immediately remembered vs. immediately forgotten tested items). This result shows that the processes which allow items to be more memorable over time share qualitatively similar neural correlates with the processes that relate to successful retrieval at test. This finding supports the notion that testing is more beneficial than restudying on memory performance over time because of its engagement of retrieval processes, such as the re-encoding of actively retrieved memory representations.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus