Two influential models of recognition memory, the unequal-variance signal-detection model and a dual-process threshold/detection model, accurately describe the receiver operating characteristic, but only the latter model can provide estimates of recollection and familiarity. Such estimates often accord with those provided by the remember-know procedure, and both methods are now widely used in the neuroscience literature to identify the brain correlates of recollection and familiarity. However, in recent years, a substantial literature has accumulated directly contrasting the signal-detection model against the threshold/detection model, and that literature is almost unanimous in its endorsement of signal-detection theory. A dual-process version of signal-detection theory implies that individual recognition decisions are not process pure, and it suggests new ways to investigate the brain correlates of recognition memory.
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