Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition, UMR5549, Toulouse, France
Familiarity and recollection: revisiting dogmas
We recognize everyday dozens of objects and faces. Actually this ability is so efficient that we do not even pay any attention to it. However, it has been shown that we can rapidly store thousands of new pictures and sometimes for a very long time without rehearsal in the meantime. Phenomenologically two processes are supposed to participate to recognition memory, one fast and acontextual called familiarity, the other slower and associated with the context in which the stimulus was encountered called recollection. Although there is agreement on the core network of brain regions involved in recollection, surprisingly little is known about familiarity, quite probably because the psychological and physiological signals associated with familiarity are fast, but also much weaker, than those associated with recollection. In fact, it is not even clear if familiarity is a single process as often presented. In this talk, I will review recent studies in which we used a combination of new paradigms, neuropsychological and intracerebral electrophysiological studies to identify the network of brain regions involved in familiarity.