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Journal Article

fMRI-activation patterns in the detection of concealed information rely on memory-related effects

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Gamer, M., Klimecki, O., Bauermann, T., Stoeter, P., & Vossel, G. (2012). fMRI-activation patterns in the detection of concealed information rely on memory-related effects. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 7(5), 506-515. doi:10.1093/scan/nsp005.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-13AE-8
Recent research on potential applications of fMRI in the detection of concealed knowledge primarily ascribed the reported differences in hemodynamic response patterns to deception. This interpretation is challenged by the results of the present study. Participants were required to memorize probe and target items (a banknote and a playing card, each). Subsequently, these items were repeatedly presented along with eight irrelevant items in a modified Guilty Knowledge Test design and participants were instructed to simply acknowledge item presentation by pressing one button after each stimulus. Despite the absence of response monitoring demands and thus overt response conflicts, the experiment revealed a differential physiological response pattern as a function of item type. First, probes elicited the largest skin conductance responses. Second, differential hemodynamic responses were observed in bilateral inferior frontal regions, the right supramarginal gyrus and the supplementary motor area as a function of item type. Probes and targets were accompanied by a larger signal increase than irrelevant items in these regions. Moreover, the responses to probes differed substantially from targets. The observed neural response pattern seems to rely on retrieval processes that depend on the depth of processing in the encoding situation.