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Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 54, Issue 6, pp 580–587

First Online: 26 June 2011Received: 05 December 2010Accepted: 04 April 2011


Prospective memory PM refers to memory for future intentions. Difference due to memory Dm effect is the difference in neural activity related to stimuli that were subsequently remembered or forgotten. Using event-related potentials ERPs, the present study investigated the Dm effect for PM using a subsequent task-switching paradigm. The results showed that a Dm effect of ERP P150 was more positive-going for later PM hit trials than for later PM forgotten trials during 100–200 ms. This Dm effect may reflect the process for the production of future intention or the process for attention. Consistent with previously reported Dm effects of other types of memory, we found that the fbN2 250–280 ms and late positivity component 400–700 ms were stronger in later PM hit trials than in forgotten trials. The fbN2 was evoked by Chinese characters. The late positivity component was related to the precise encoding process. In conclusion, because of the early P150, PM encoding appears to be somewhat different from previously identified Dm effects. However, further research is needed. Our findings reveal that Dm effects of PM share similar characteristics with known Dm effects of other types of episodic memory after the very early stage of neural processing.

Keywordsdifference due to memory effect prospective memory event-related potential P150 late positivity component This article is published with open access at

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Autor: YanNi Chen - ChunYan Guo - Yang Jiang


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