Exogenous features versus prior experiences modulate different subregions of the right IPL during episodic memory retrieval.
The fractionation view holds that distinct cognitive operations are mediated by subregions of the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Within IPL, we hypothesised that retrieval-related activity in different parts of the right supramarginal gyrus (rSMG) may be modulated differentially by information acquired via different combinations of attention signals at encoding. We had two groups of participants watch a 42-min TV episode and, after a 24-hr delay, perform a temporal-order judgment task during fMRI. Each retrieval trial comprised three images presented sequentially, requiring participants to judge the temporal order between the first and last images while ignoring the second image ("distractor"). We manipulated the bottom-up factor by presenting distractors that were extracted from either an event-boundary or a non-boundary of the movie. The top-down factor was manipulated by instructing one group perform a segmentation task reporting the event-boundaries at encoding, while the other group watched the movie passively. Across groups, we found that the stimulus-related factor modulated retrieval activation in the anterior rSMG (areas PFt and PFop), whereas the goal-related influence of prior segmentation interacted with this effect in the middle rSMG (area PF), demonstrating IPL segregation during retrieval as a function of prior bottom-up vs. top-down attention signals.
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