BOLD Activity during Correct-Answer Feedback in Cued Recall Predicts Subsequent Retrieval Performance: An fMRI Investigation Using a Partial Trial Design

Adrian W. Gilmore, Steven M. Nelson, Farah Naaz, Ruth A. Shaffer, Kathleen B. McDermott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Receiving correct answer feedback following a retrieval attempt has proven to be a highly effective means of learning new information, yet the mechanisms behind its efficacy remain poorly understood. Here, fMRI was used to examine how BOLD activity measured during a period of feedback could predict subsequent memory (SM) performance on a final test. Twenty-five human subjects studied pairs of associated words, and were then asked to covertly recall target words in response to provided cues. Correct answer feedback was provided immediately after covert retrieval attempts. A partial trial design enabled separate modeling of activity related to retrieval and to feedback processing. During initial study, typical SM effects were observed across the whole brain. During feedback following a failed recall attempt, activity in only a subset of these regions predicted final test performance. These regions fell within the default mode network (DMN) and demonstrated negative SM effects, such that greater deactivation was associated with successful recall. No "task-positive" regions demonstrated SM effects in this contrast. The obtained results are consistent with a growing literature that associates DMN deactivation with successful learning in multiple task contexts, likely reflecting differences in the allocation of attentional resources during encoding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4008-4022
Number of pages15
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume28
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Covert cued recall
  • fMRI
  • feedback
  • partial trials
  • subsequent memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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