Neural correlates underlying true and false associative memories

Nancy A. Dennis, Christina E. Johnson, Kristina M. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Despite the fact that associative memory studies produce a large number of false memories, neuroimaging analyses utilizing this paradigm typically focus only on neural activity mediating successful retrieval. The current study sought to expand on this prior research by examining the neural basis of both true and false associative memories. Though associative false memories are substantially different than those found in semantic or perceptual false memory paradigms, results suggest that associative false memories are mediated by similar neural mechanisms. Specifically, we found increased frontal activity that likely represents enhanced monitoring and evaluation compared to that needed for true memories and correct rejections. Results also indicated that true, and not false associative memories, are mediated by neural activity in the MTL, specifically the hippocampus. Finally, while activity in early visual cortex distinguished true from false memories, a lack of neural differences between hits and correct rejections failed to support previous findings suggesting that activity in early visual cortex represents sensory reactivation of encoding-related processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalBrain and cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Neural correlates underlying true and false associative memories'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this