Neurophysiological indices of perceptual object priming in the absence of explicit recognition memory
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The aim of this study was to identify ERP correlates of perceptual object priming that are insensitive to factors affecting explicit, episodic memory. EEG was recorded from 21 participants while they performed a visual object recognition test on a combination of unstudied items and old items that were previously encountered during either a 'deep' or 'shallow' levels-of-processing (LOP) study task. The results demonstrated a midline P150 old/new effect which was sensitive only to objects' old/new status and not to the accuracy of recognition responses to old items, or to the LOP manipulation. Similar outcomes were observed for the subsequent P200 and N400 effects, the former of which had a parietal scalp maximum and the latter, a broadly distributed topography. In addition an LPC old/new effect typical of those reported in past ERP recognition studies was observed. These outcomes support the proposal that the P150 effect is reflective of perceptual object priming and moreover, provide novel evidence that this and the P200 effect are independent of explicit recognition memory process(es).
International Journal of Psychophysiology