Multiple Electrophysiological Indices of Distinctiveness

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Several types of distinctiveness are typically identified in the literature. Among them, primary distinctiveness refers to the fact that some events come to stand out by virtue of the context in which they are embedded, whereas secondary distinctiveness refers to events that violate our expectancies based on our general world knowledge, rather than on their immediate context. This chapter describes an additional concept: subjective distinctiveness. By and large, experimental manipulations of the context in which stimuli are embedded are effective in making them stand out in the eyes of the participants. This chapter reviews data from studies on event-related potentials. These data are based largely on paradigms manipulating primary distinctiveness, and are sometimes collected for the explicit purpose of assessing the memory consequences of this manipulation (and their relationship to the underlying brain activity). From these data, inferences are made about various aspects of cognition, including sensory and working memory. It is clear that some of the processes that may in the end contribute to enhanced memory performance may occur during the rehearsal or retrieval of the events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDistinctiveness and Memory
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199847563
ISBN (Print)9780195169669
StatePublished - Mar 22 2012


  • Cognition
  • Event-related potentials
  • Events
  • Primary distinctiveness
  • Rehearsal
  • Retrieval
  • Subjective distinctiveness
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiple Electrophysiological Indices of Distinctiveness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this