Guest Lecture of Ed Wilding

Guest Lecture of Ed Wilding

from the School of Psychology, Cardiff University

Date: 13 July 2011

Topic: Cognitive processes and brain regions supporting judgements of when events occurred: Evidence from ERPs and fMRI.


Episodic memory supports memories for events and the contexts in which they occurred. In two experiments, we investigated the cognitive processes and brain regions supporting memory for one kind of contextual information: when events occurred. The starting point for the work was the assumption that ‘when’ judgments can be based upon distinct kinds of information. First, the strengths of memories can be used heuristically to gauge how recently events occurred: stronger memories signal more recent occurrences. Second, remembering specific details can permit an event to be placed accurately in time. These experiments were designed to test the first of these proposals, and to determine whether the strengths of two memory processes – recollection and familiarity – could be employed to assist in strength-based ‘when’ judgments. In the first experiment, ERP correlates of recollection and familiarity changed in a way consistent with the view that both processes provide strength-based means of supporting ‘when’ judgments. Converging evidence for the role of recollection in a strength-based manner was obtained in a second experiment using fMRI, with the findings also suggesting different roles for the inferior parietal cortex and the lingual gyrus in supporting judgments about when events occurred.