Electrophysiological evidence for dissociable processes contributing to recollection

Kevin Allan, E L Wilding, M D Rugg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

198 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews a number of studies in which we have employed event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the cognitive processes which contribute to conscious recollection. Across a range of tasks (including recognition memory, source memory, associative recall and word-stem cued recall) there is evidence for the proposal that recollection involves processes which are both functionally and neurologically dissociable. This evidence takes the form of temporally and topographically dissociable ERP effects, which attain their maximum amplitude when elicited by items that satisfy operational definitions for having been recollected. The ERP effects are interpreted as reflecting retrieval and post-retrieval processes which, we argue, constitute two separate components of recollection as defined within the process dissociation framework of Jacoby and colleagues. The ERP findings suggest that post-retrieval processing is particularly sensitive to task variables, implying that recollection may be neither functionally nor neurologically homogeneous.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-252
Number of pages22
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998


  • Association Learning
  • Cognition
  • Cues
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Humans
  • Memory
  • Mental Recall
  • Recollection
  • Process-dissociation
  • Familiarity
  • Recall


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