Encoding and retrieving faces and places: distinguishing process- and stimulus-specific differences in brain activity.

Published

Journal Article

Among the most fundamental issues in cognitive neuroscience is how the brain may be organized into process-specific and stimulus-specific regions. In the episodic memory domain, most functional neuroimaging studies have focused on the former dimension, typically investigating the neural correlates of various memory processes. Thus, there is little information about what role stimulus-specific brain regions play in successful memory processes. To address this issue, the present event-related fMRI study used a factorial design to focus on the role of stimulus-specific brain regions, such as the fusiform face area (FFA) and parahippocampal place area (PPA) in successful encoding and retrieval processes. Searching within regions sensitive to faces or places, we identified areas similarly involved in encoding and retrieval, as well as areas differentially involved in encoding or retrieval. Finally, we isolated regions associated with successful memory, regardless of stimulus and process type. There were three main findings. Within face sensitive regions, anterior medial PFC and right FFA displayed equivalent encoding and retrieval success processes whereas left FFA was associated with successful encoding rather than retrieval. Within place sensitive regions, left PPA displayed equivalent encoding and retrieval success processes whereas right PPA was associated with successful encoding rather than retrieval. Finally, medial temporal and prefrontal regions were associated with general memory success, regardless of stimulus or process type. Taken together, our results clarify the contribution of different brain regions to stimulus- and process-specific episodic memory mechanisms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Prince, SE; Dennis, NA; Cabeza, R

Published Date

  • September 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 2282 - 2289

PubMed ID

  • 19524092

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19524092

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-3514

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0028-3932

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.01.021

Language

  • eng