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Perceptual and semantic familiarity in recognition memory: an event-related potential study

Boldini, Angelaa; Algarabel, Salvadora; Ibañez, Antoniob; Bajo, M. Teresab

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282f4cf73

Putative event-related potential correlates of perceptual and semantic bases of familiarity in recognition memory were examined with a categorized pictures recognition test. Our participants were presented, at study, with pictures of categorized objects and, at test, with either the very same pictures presented at study, different pictures of studied objects, pictures of new objects belonging to studied categories, or pictures of completely new-uncategorized objects. We found evidence for a parallel evaluation, within familiarity process, of both perceptual and semantic information. We also found new and interesting evidence for the existence of some common neural circuits involved in the FN400 effect, frontal component typically associated to familiarity, and the N400 effect, centro-parietal component typically elicited by ‘semantically unexpected’ linguistic stimuli.

aUniversity of Valencia, Valencia

bUniversity of Granada, Granada, Spain

Correspondence to Angela Boldini, Facultad de Psicologia, Departamento de Metodologia de las Ciencias del Comportamiento, Universidad de Valencia, Avda. Blasco Ibañez 21, 46010 Valencia, Spain

Tel: +346 006 59842; fax: 349 638 64697; e-mail:

Received 12 November 2007; accepted 26 November 2007

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.