Neural basis of goal-driven changes in knowledge activation.
Depending on a person's goals, different aspects of stored knowledge are accessed. Decades of behavioral work document the flexible use of knowledge, but little neuroimaging work speaks to these questions. We used representational similarity analysis to investigate whether the relationship between brain activity and semantic structure of statements varied in two tasks hypothesized to differ in the degree to which knowledge is accessed: judging truth (semantic task) and judging oldness (episodic task). During truth judgments, but not old/new recognition judgments, a left-lateralized network previously associated with semantic memory exhibited correlations with semantic structure. At a neural level, people activate knowledge representations in different ways when focused on different goals. The present results demonstrate the potential of multivariate approaches in characterizing knowledge storage and retrieval, as well as the ways that it shapes our understanding and long-term memory.
Wang, W-C; Brashier, NM; Wing, EA; Marsh, EJ; Cabeza, R
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