Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
We used pattern classifiers to extract features related to recognition memory retrieval from the temporal information in single-trial electroencephalography (EEG) data during attempted memory retrieval. Two-class classification was conducted on correctly remembered trials with accurate context (or source) judgments vs. correctly rejected trials. The average accuracy for datasets recorded in a single session was 61% while the average accuracy for datasets recorded in two separate sessions was 56%. To further understand the basis of the classifier's performance, two other pattern classifiers were trained on different pairs of behavioral conditions. The first of these was designed to use information related to remembering the item and the second to use information related to remembering the contextual information (or source) about the item. Mollison and Curran (2012) had earlier shown that subjects' familiarity judgments contributed to improved memory of spatial contextual information but not of extrinsic associated color information. These behavioral results were similarly reflected in the event-related potential (ERP) known as the FN400 (an early frontal effect relating to familiarity) which revealed differences between correct and incorrect context memories in the spatial but not color conditions. In our analyses we show that a classifier designed to distinguish between correct and incorrect context memories, more strongly involves early activity (400-500 ms) over the frontal channels for the location distinctions, than for the extrinsic color associations. In contrast, the classifier designed to classify memory for the item (without memory for the context), had more frontal channel involvement for the color associated experiments than for the spatial experiments. Taken together these results argue that location may be bound more tightly with the item than an extrinsic color association. The multivariate classification approach also showed that trial-by-trial variation in EEG corresponding to these ERP components were predictive of subjects' behavioral responses. Additionally, the multivariate classification approach enabled analysis of error conditions that did not have sufficient trials for standard ERP analyses. These results suggested that false alarms were primarily attributable to item memory (as opposed to memory of associated context), as commonly predicted, but with little previous corroborating EEG evidence.
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Noh, Eunho; Liao, Kueida; Mollison, Matthew V; Curran, Tim; and de Sa, Virginia R, "Single-Trial EEG Analysis Predicts Memory Retrieval and Reveals Source-Dependent Differences." (2017). Psychology and Neuroscience Faculty Contributions. 32.