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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2001 Aug;25(6):545-54.

Event-related functional imaging and episodic memory.

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  • 1School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3YG, UK.


Electrical and haemodynamic measures of neural activity can be time-locked to an event-of-interest, such as the presentation of a stimulus or a behavioural response. Both of these measures can be employed in studies where the aim is to elucidate the relationship between neural activity and cognitive processes. This review highlights a number of considerations that arise when these techniques are employed in pursuit of this goal, with a particular emphasis on functional imaging studies of retrieval from episodic memory. The review includes: a discussion of some limitations that each technique imposes at the stage of experimental design, consideration of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each technique, a commentary on assumptions that are common to both, and a brief review of the ways in which these techniques can be extended in order to index two distinct classes of cognitive operations that have correspondingly distinct neural signatures.

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