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TO investigate brain mechanisms involved in identifying the origin of memories, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded as participants discriminated previously presented (old) from new items or identified their earlier source (picture, word, or new). Differences in ERPs between old-new recognition and source identification were focused at frontal sites. For source identification, prominent negative deflections at occipital or frontal sites occurred depending on encoding task. These results support a model in which memory attributes are distributed neocortically and the frontal lobes are critical for source monitoring.

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