An event-related potential study of explicit memory on tests of cued recall and recognition

Kevin Allan, M D Rugg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


The event-related potential (ERP) correlates of performance on test of word-stem cued recall and recognition memory were contrasted. ERPs elicited by stems attracting successful recall exhibited a sustained positive-going shift relative to ERPs elicited by stems completed with unstudied items. This positive shift was maximal at electrode sites on and adjacent to the midline. An equally sustained positive-going ERP modulation was observed for the recognition memory task in ERPs elicited by recognised 'old' items relative to ERPs elicited by correctly rejected 'new' items. The scalp topography of this effect shifted from a parietally distributed asymmetry favouring left hemisphere sites, to a frontally distributed effect maximal over midline and right hemisphere sites. The findings indicate that ERP correlates of explicit memory are task-dependent. The disparate ERP effects are interpreted as reflecting a common explicit retrieval mechanism which is sensitive to the nature of retrieval cues provided at test.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-397
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 1997


  • Adult
  • Cognition
  • Cues
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Humans
  • Memory
  • Mental Recall
  • Ovum
  • ERPs
  • Explicit memory
  • Cued recall
  • recognition memory


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