Distinct anatomical correlates of discriminability and criterion setting in verbal recognition memory revealed by lesion-symptom mapping

Biesbroek, J. Matthijs, van Zandvoort, Martine J E, Kappelle, L. Jaap, Schoo, Linda, Kuijf, Hugo J., Velthuis, BK, Biessels, Geert Jan, Postma, Albert


Human Brain Mapping 36 (4), p. 1292-1303


Recognition memory, that is, the ability to judge whether an item has been previously encountered in a particular context, depends on two factors: discriminability and criterion setting. Discriminability draws on memory processes while criterion setting (i.e., the application of a threshold resulting in a yes/no response) is regarded as a process of cognitive control. Discriminability and criterion setting are assumed to draw on distinct anatomical structures, but definite evidence for this assumption is lacking. We applied voxel-based and region of interest-based lesion-symptom mapping to 83 patients in the acute phase of ischemic stroke to determine the anatomical correlates of discriminability and criterion setting in verbal recognition memory. Recognition memory was measured with the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. Signal-detection theory was used to calculate measures for discriminability and criterion setting. Lesion-symptom mapping revealed that discriminability draws on left medial temporal and temporo-occipital structures, both thalami and the right hippocampus, while criterion setting draws on the right inferior frontal gyrus. Lesions in the right inferior frontal gyrus were associated with liberal response bias. These findings indicate that discriminability and criterion setting indeed depend on distinct anatomical structures and provide new insights in the anatomical correlates of these cognitive processes that underlie verbal recognition memory. Hum Brain Mapp 36:1292-1303, 2015.