Source recognition by stimulus content in the MTL

Heekyeong Park, Cheryl Abellanoza, James Schaeffer, Kellen Gandy
Brain Research 2014 March 17, 1553: 59-68
Source memory is considered to be the cornerstone of episodic memory that enables us to discriminate similar but different events. In the present fMRI study, we investigated whether neural correlates of source retrieval differed by stimulus content in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) when the item and context had been integrated as a perceptually unitized entity. Participants were presented with a list of items either in verbal or pictorial form overlaid on a colored square and instructed to integrate both the item and context into a single image. At test, participants judged the study status of test items and the color in which studied items were presented. Source recognition invariant of stimulus content elicited retrieval activity in both the left anterior hippocampus extending to the perirhinal cortex and the right posterior hippocampus. Word-selective source recognition was related to activity in the left perirhinal cortex, whereas picture-selective source recognition was identified in the left posterior hippocampus. Neural activity sensitive to novelty detection common to both words and pictures was found in the left anterior and right posterior hippocampus. Novelty detection selective to words was associated with the left perirhinal cortex, while activity sensitive to new pictures was identified in the bilateral hippocampus and adjacent MTL cortices, including the parahippocampal, entorhinal, and perirhinal cortices. These findings provide further support for the integral role of the hippocampus both in source recognition and in detection of new stimuli across stimulus content. Additionally, novelty effects in the MTL reveal the integral role of the MTL cortex as the interface for processing new information. Collectively, the present findings demonstrate the importance of the MTL for both previously experienced and novel events.


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