Effect of frontal lobe lesions on the recollection and familiarity components of recognition memory

Sarah E. MacPherson, Marco Bozzali, Lisa Cipolotti, Raymond J. Dolan, Jeremy H. Rees, Tim Shallice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Single-process theories assume that familiarity is the sole influence on recognition memory with decisions being made as a continuous process. Dual-process theories claim that recognition involves both recollection and familiarity processes with recollection as a threshold process. Although, the frontal lobes of the brain play an important role in recognition memory, few studies have examined the effect of frontal lobe lesions on recollection and familiarity. In the current study, the nonverbal recognition memory of 24 patients with focal frontal lesions due to tumour or stroke was examined. Recollection and familiarity were estimated using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) method. A secondary analysis was also conducted using standard signal detection theory methodology. Both analyses led to similar conclusions where only the familiarity component of recognition memory was impaired in frontal patients compared to healthy controls whilst the recollection-type (or variance ratio) processes remained intact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3124-3132
Number of pages9
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • Familiarity
  • Frontal lobes
  • Recognition memory
  • Recollection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of frontal lobe lesions on the recollection and familiarity components of recognition memory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this