Browsing by Author "Thapar, Anjali"
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- ItemEvent-related Potential Correlates of the Word Frequency Effect in Recognition Memory(2011) Miller, Stephanie; Thapar, Anjali; Compton, Rebecca J. (Rebecca Jean)The main objective of the current investigation was to examine the influences of word frequency in event-related potentials (ERPs) of recognition. We first aimed to replicate findings that ERP traces dissociate recognition into its subcomponents: recollection and familiarity. Our behavioral results exhibited the low frequency word advantage typically observed in recognition memory: enhanced accuracy to low frequency words. ERPs were analyzed by comparing average activity of hits to misses (encoding), main effects of response type (remember/familiar) and frequency (high/low) as well as interaction effects. At encoding, no subsequent memory effects were established in the predicted left-inferior prefrontal region. At retrieval, recollection responses produced significant effects at parietal sites (400-800 ms). We did not establish recognition (familiarity) or frequency differences at frontal sites (300-500 ms). A tertiary analysis should be applied to the current data to assess lateralized activity at frontal sites. Because our behavioral replication of the low frequency advantage was robust, the non significant ERP results in this sample do not disqualify the potential for word-frequency effects in electrophysiological memory traces.
- ItemExecutive Function, the Positivity Effect and Error-Related Negativity: A Novel Perspective on Cognitive Aging(2013) Vandenbark, Sonia L.; Compton, Rebecca J. (Rebecca Jean); Thapar, AnjaliThe purpose of the present research was to investigate cognitive aging in the context of the Socioemotional Selectivity Theory (Carstensen, 1992), in order to determine the role of executive function in the manifestation of a positivity effect. Younger and older adults were assessed on measures of cognitive control, including the WAIS, Eriksen and Eriksen’s (1974) letter flanker task, and error-related negativity (ERN). A face flanker task was also administered, in which participants determined the emotion of a target face while ignoring flanking distracter faces (based on methods from Fenske et al., 2003). Finally, a recognition memory task was administered using neutral faces, to see if participants remembered faces differently based on the emotion that they displayed during the face flanker task. Contrary to our hypothesis and previous findings, younger and older adults did not differ in flanker interference nor emotional preference in face flanker and memory tasks. These findings do not support the presence of a positivity bias, though results from EEG methods and previous studies suggest that this may be due to unexpected limitations of the face flanker paradigm.
- ItemFalse Memories: Evidence for Unintentional Processing of Semantically Related Words using a Stroop Variation Task(2005) Genao, Ana; Thapar, AnjaliThe present study examined false recognition of semantically related non-presented words. We were primarily interested in replicating a study by Dodd and MacLeod (2004) where false memories were produced in groups intentionally processing words (by reading or studying) and unintentionally processing words (performing a variation of the Stroop task). Seventy-five undergraduate students (30 in the unintentional group, 30 in the intentional group and 15 in the control group) completed a primary task followed by a recognition test for actually presented and non-presented words. Results revealed that false alarms to non-presented words were robust and fairly similar across all groups. These findings are consistent with an activation/monitoring theory where semantically related words may evoke similar yet nonpresented words through conscious realization or through unconsciously and automatic activation.
- ItemThe Good Ol’ Days: Examining the Relationship Between Cognitive Decline and the Positivity Bias in Healthy Aging(2013) Wasserman, Sophie; Compton, Rebecca J. (Rebecca Jean); Thapar, AnjaliPrevious research has found that older adults exhibit significant decreases in executive functioning, such as diminished inhibition of irrelevant information and reduced amplitude of the error-related negativity (ERN), as well as a bias towards positive stimuli. This study further examined whether the positivity bias in older adults is the result of a goal-directed re-orientation of selective attention, such that older adults who retain higher cognitive functioning should be able to show greater positivity bias. There was no difference between accuracy of older and younger adults on a standard letter flanker task, but a modified emotional face flanker task showed a significant interaction between age, affect of target face and affect of flanker face. Results showed no significant correlation between positivity bias and executive functioning in older adults, as well as no significant reduction of ERN amplitude in older adults. Potential explanations for the inconclusive pattern of results are discussed, as well as direction for future research.