Neurophysiological markers of retrieval-induced forgetting in multiplication fact retrieval

Psychophysiology. 2011 Dec;48(12):1681-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2011.01267.x. Epub 2011 Aug 8.


Event-related potential (ERP) counterparts of practice effects in multiplication fact retrieval were examined. Participants performed a multiplication verification task after having practiced a specific problem set. Practice was either active (retrieval of solutions to multiplication problems) or passive (reexposure to the same operands plus the correct result). Behavioral data showed retrieval-induced facilitation for practiced items and retrieval-induced forgetting for related, unpracticed items, irrespective of practice type. ERPs revealed that, for the active practice group, forgetting was reflected in a reduced N100 component time-locked to result onset. Irrespective of practice type, forgetting was also reflected in a reduced result-locked P350 component, whereas facilitation was associated with an increased amplitude of the same component. These results suggest that beneficial and detrimental effects of practice may be mediated by partially distinct processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mental Recall
  • Practice, Psychological
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Young Adult