Preliminary evidence for physiological markers of implicit memory

Nathalie klein Selle, Gershon Ben-Shakhar, Merel Kindt, Bruno Verschuere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Concealed Information Test (CIT) aims to detect concealed knowledge and is known to be sensitive to explicit memory. In two experiments, we examined whether the CIT is also sensitive to implicit memory using skin conductance, respiration and heart rate measures. For each participant, previously studied items were either categorized as explicitly remembered, implicitly remembered or forgotten. The two experiments differed in the strength of memory encoding, the type of implicit memory test, the delay between study and test and the number of critical CIT items. The results of Experiment 1 revealed that CIT detection efficiency was weak and significant only in the explicit memory condition. In Experiment 2, however, CIT detection efficiency was stronger and significant in both the explicit and implicit memory conditions as indexed by skin conductance and respiration. Altogether, our results provide initial evidence that the CIT may be sensitive to implicit memory. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-235
Number of pages16
JournalBiological Psychology
StatePublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Concealed Information Test (CIT)
  • Explicit memory
  • Heart rate (HR)
  • Implicit memory
  • Respiration line length (RLL)
  • Skin conductance response (SCR)


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