A rapid, neural measure of implicit recognition memory using fast periodic visual stimulation

George Stothart, Laura J Smith, Alexander Milton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


Fast periodic visual stimulation (FPVS) has recently emerged as a powerful new tool in cognitive neuroscience. Capable of measuring a range of cognitive functions in single subjects in just minutes of recording time, it has been adapted to measure visual, semantic and linguistic processing. We present a new adaptation of the FPVS approach to measure recognition memory via old/new contrasts. Twenty one subjects (23 (±6) yrs, 7 males) completed an FPVS-oddball paradigm that assessed their spontaneous ability to differentiate between rapidly presented images on the basis of a pre-FPVS encoding task, i.e. oddball stimuli were only defined by the subject's experimentally induced memory of them. A clear oddball detection response reflecting recognition memory was observed within one minute of EEG recording time, simply through the passive viewing of stimuli, i.e. subjects received no task instructions and provided no behavioural response. Performance on a subsequent behavioural recognition task showed high levels of recognition of the oddball stimuli. As such, the FPVS approach returned an objective, non-verbal measure of recognition memory in just one minute of recording time, free from the confounds of behavioural recognition tasks. This finding reinforces the adaptability of the FPVS approach for the examination of higher-level cognition and provides a new method for the neural measurement of recognition memory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116628
Early online date8 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


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