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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

Topographical maps showing the scalp distributions of the subsequent memory effect (RR-RF) and the immediate retrieval effect (RF-FF). The subsequent memory effect started at an earlier time window (300–500 ms). Both effects show similar scalp topography in the 500–700 ms time window. The voltage scale is from 0 to 3 μV for the subsequent memory condition and from 0 to 4 μV for the immediate retrieval condition.
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Figure 4: Topographical maps showing the scalp distributions of the subsequent memory effect (RR-RF) and the immediate retrieval effect (RF-FF). The subsequent memory effect started at an earlier time window (300–500 ms). Both effects show similar scalp topography in the 500–700 ms time window. The voltage scale is from 0 to 3 μV for the subsequent memory condition and from 0 to 4 μV for the immediate retrieval condition.

Mentions: As shown in Figure 3B, the ERPs to RR items start to diverge from ERPs to RF items around 300 ms post-stimulus, with a greater relative positivity for RR items. This difference is widely distributed across the scalp (see Figure 4 upper panel). A global ANOVA with factors of Memory Condition (RR/RF) × 3 AP × 3 Laterality revealed a main effect of subsequent memory in all three time windows of interest from 300–500, 500–700 to 700–1000 ms. No interaction between the Memory Condition factor and other factors was found in either time interval.


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

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

Topographical maps showing the scalp distributions of the subsequent memory effect (RR-RF) and the immediate retrieval effect (RF-FF). The subsequent memory effect started at an earlier time window (300–500 ms). Both effects show similar scalp topography in the 500–700 ms time window. The voltage scale is from 0 to 3 μV for the subsequent memory condition and from 0 to 4 μV for the immediate retrieval condition.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 4: Topographical maps showing the scalp distributions of the subsequent memory effect (RR-RF) and the immediate retrieval effect (RF-FF). The subsequent memory effect started at an earlier time window (300–500 ms). Both effects show similar scalp topography in the 500–700 ms time window. The voltage scale is from 0 to 3 μV for the subsequent memory condition and from 0 to 4 μV for the immediate retrieval condition.
Mentions: As shown in Figure 3B, the ERPs to RR items start to diverge from ERPs to RF items around 300 ms post-stimulus, with a greater relative positivity for RR items. This difference is widely distributed across the scalp (see Figure 4 upper panel). A global ANOVA with factors of Memory Condition (RR/RF) × 3 AP × 3 Laterality revealed a main effect of subsequent memory in all three time windows of interest from 300–500, 500–700 to 700–1000 ms. No interaction between the Memory Condition factor and other factors was found in either time interval.

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