Brain imaging of human memory systems: between-systems similarities and within-system differences.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

There is much evidence for the existence of multiple memory systems. However, it has been argued that tasks assumed to reflect different memory systems share basic processing components and are mediated by overlapping neural systems. Here we used multivariate analysis of PET-data to analyze similarities and differences in brain activity for multiple tests of working memory, semantic memory, and episodic memory. The results from two experiments revealed between-systems differences, but also between-systems similarities and within-system differences. Specifically, support was obtained for a task-general working-memory network that may underlie active maintenance. Premotor and parietal regions were salient components of this network. A common network was also identified for two episodic tasks, cued recall and recognition, but not for a test of autobiographical memory. This network involved regions in right inferior and polar frontal cortex, and lateral and medial parietal cortex. Several of these regions were also engaged during the working-memory tasks, indicating shared processing for episodic and working memory. Fact retrieval and synonym generation were associated with increased activity in left inferior frontal and middle temporal regions and right cerebellum. This network was also associated with the autobiographical task, but not with living/non-living classification, and may reflect elaborate retrieval of semantic information. Implications of the present results for the classification of memory tasks with respect to systems and/or processes are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Nyberg, L; Forkstam, C; Petersson, KM; Cabeza, R; Ingvar, M

Published Date

  • April 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 281 - 292

PubMed ID

  • 11958972

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0926-6410

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0926-6410(02)00052-6


  • eng