Electrophysiological brain activity and memory source monitoring

Neuroreport. 1997 Mar 24;8(5):1317-20. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199703240-00051.


To investigate brain mechanisms involved in identifying the origin of memories, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded as participants discriminated previously presented (old) from new items or identified their earlier source (picture, word, or new). Differences in ERPs between old-new recognition and source identification were focused at frontal sites. For source identification, prominent negative deflections at occipital or frontal sites occurred depending on encoding task. These results support a model in which memory attributes are distributed neocortically and the frontal lobes are critical for source monitoring.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Discrimination Learning / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Reality Testing*
  • Reference Values