The neural and behavioral correlates of related lure interference on correct recognition and false memory suppression

Open Access
Sine, Shalome Lael
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Nancy Anne Coulter Dennis, Thesis Supervisor
  • Richard Alan Carlson, Honors Advisor
  • Presentation order
  • memory
  • neuroscience
  • false memory
  • true recollection
  • lure interference
  • neuroimaging
Successful memory retrieval requires one to distinguish between old and new information. This is often difficult when new information is closely related to old information and thus causes interference at the time of the retrieval decision. In order to investigate the neural basis of these interference effects, we presented individuals with a retrieval test in which lures were perceptually similar to targets and counterbalanced the order in which the target and corresponding related lure were presented. Results showed that when the related lure came first (as opposed to when the related lure was preceded by the target), the lure caused interference in both recollection hit and recollection correct rejection trial types. Specifically, when the related lure was presented prior to the target, increased activity was observed in frontal and parietal regions (reflecting increased evaluation) as well as inferior and middle occipital gyri and fusiform gyrus (reflecting increased visual inspection necessary to resolve interference) for both items. When the target preceded the lure, results revealed a much more limited neural network for both target acceptance and lure rejection. These results suggest that the presentation of a related lure generates interference that then requires heightened attentional processing and evaluation of item details for both the current and future memory decisions. In contrast, when the target is presented first, and interference from the related lure is diminished, correct recognition and correct rejection processing operates much more efficiently.