Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from nine subjects during an incidental memory paradigm. During the study phase subjects were engaged in two tasks requiring semantic and rhyming decisions. During the test phase, subjects were required to decide on each of 320 trials if the word was 'new' (never before presented) or 'old' (seen previously). Results showed that semantic old words were more often recognized than rhyming ones. ERPs to new words were more negative than ERPs to old words in the 400-800 latency range. ERPs to semantic old words were more positive than ERPs to rhyming ones in the same latency range. The difference between ERPs to semantic and rhyming old words confirms a relationship between ERPs and memory.
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