Lack of source memory as a potential marker of early assimilation of novel items into current knowledge

Amnon Yacoby, Niv Reggev, Anat Maril*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In daily life, humans process a plethora of new information that can be either consistent (familiar) or inconsistent (novel) with prior knowledge. Over time, both types of information can integrate into our accumulated knowledge base via distinct pathways. However, the mnemonic processes supporting the integration of information that is inconsistent with prior knowledge remain under-characterized. In the current study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the initial assimilation of novel items into the semantic network. Participants saw three repetitions of adjective-noun word pairs that were either consistent or inconsistent with prior knowledge. Twenty-four hours later, they were presented with the same stimuli again while undergoing fMRI scans. Outside the scanner, participants completed a surprise recognition test. We found that when the episodic context associated with initially inconsistent items was irretrievable, the neural signature of these items was indistinguishable from that of consistent items. In contrast, initially inconsistent items with accessible episodic contexts showed neural signatures that differed from those associated with consistent items. We suggest that, at least one day post encoding, items inconsistent with prior knowledge can show early assimilation into the semantic network only when their episodic contexts become inaccessible during retrieval, thus evoking a sense of familiarity.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number108569
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume185
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Inconsistent
  • Integration
  • Prior knowledge
  • Semantic network
  • Source memory
  • fMRI

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