Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Syanah Wynn (Donders series 418)

13 March 2020

Promotor: prof. dr. R. Kessels
co-promotor: dr. D. Schutter, dr. M. Hendriks

Haven’t I seen you before? Measurement and manipulation of episodic memory confidence

Who has not asked a familiar face: ’Haven’t I seen you before?’. Human memory is not perfect and even strong memories fade over time. Leaving us with a reduced confidence in the accuracy of remembered details. This thesis focuses on the role of a specific brain region, the parietal cortex, in subjectively perceived memory confidence. Brain activity is measured and related to objective (e.g., accuracy) and subjective (e.g., confidence) memory aspects. Specifically, in two electroencephalogram (EEG) studies, event-related potentials (ERPs) and theta oscillations are linked to subjectively perceived confidence. In addition, non-invasive brain stimulation methods are used to interfere with parietal brain activity while retrieving information from memory. We report on the behavioral effects of parietal transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) on objective and subjective memory measures. All in order to answer the question: “How is the parietal cortex involved in subjectively perceived memory confidence?”.