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Paper: PS-1A.60
Session: Poster Session 1A
Location: H Lichthof
Session Time: Saturday, September 14, 16:30 - 19:30
Presentation Time:Saturday, September 14, 16:30 - 19:30
Presentation: Poster
Publication: 2019 Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience, 13-16 September 2019, Berlin, Germany
Paper Title: Using Pareidolia to Study the Impact of Semantic Processing on Brain Oscillations, Memory Encoding, and Representational Similarity in EEG
Manuscript:  Click here to view manuscript
License: Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Authors: Marie-Christin Fellner, Martina Bauer, Nikolai Axmacher, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
Abstract: Semantic content crucially influences memory formation. However, controlling semantic content in an experimental setting is challenging as humans tend to see meaning even in abstract shapes, a phenomenon called pareidolia. We here made use of this spontaneous semantic processing by presenting random line drawings (“squiggle”). In experiment 1 participants repeatedly rated these squiggles according to their subjectively perceived meaningfulness and subsequently provided a name for each item they had considered meaningful (M+). In experiment 2 we tested the influence of meaningfulness ratings on recognition memory. Meaningfulness ratings and given names across studies were intraindividually consistent, but varied interindividually. M+ items were more likely remembered and elicited stronger decreases in alpha/beta power (~8-20Hz). Alpha/beta decreases also predicted subsequent memory of items. This relation of alpha/beta decrease and memory was mediated by subjective meaningfulness. Concurrent to alpha/beta power decreases, representational similarity analysis revealed more consistent item-specific information across repetitions for M+ items in contrast to M- items. Additionally, between-item EEG similarity patterns correlated with semantic similarity of the names given to M+ items. These results reveal a direct link of semantic representability and episodic memory and show a potential link of alpha/beta power decreases and the representational format of semantic information.