The beneficial effect of testing: An event-related potential study

Bai, C.-H. and Bridger, Emma K. and Zimmer, H.D. (2015) The beneficial effect of testing: An event-related potential study. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9 (Septem). ISSN 16625153 (ISSN)

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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. © 2015 Bai, Bridger, Zimmerand Mecklinger.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
26 August 2015Accepted
17 September 2015Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: Episodic memory, ERP, Memory retrieval, Reinstatement, Testing effect, adult, Article, behavioral science, comparative study, controlled study, event related potential, human, human experiment, memory test, recall, stimulus response, task performance
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > College of Psychology
Depositing User: Users 18 not found.
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2017 15:52
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 13:03

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