Overlapping parietal activity in memory and perception: evidence for the attention to memory model.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The specific role of different parietal regions to episodic retrieval is a topic of intense debate. According to the Attention to Memory (AtoM) model, dorsal parietal cortex (DPC) mediates top-down attention processes guided by retrieval goals, whereas ventral parietal cortex (VPC) mediates bottom-up attention processes captured by the retrieval output or the retrieval cue. This model also hypothesizes that the attentional functions of DPC and VPC are similar for memory and perception. To investigate this last hypothesis, we scanned participants with event-related fMRI whereas they performed memory and perception tasks, each comprising an orienting phase (top-down attention) and a detection phase (bottom-up attention). The study yielded two main findings. First, consistent with the AtoM model, orienting-related activity for memory and perception overlapped in DPC, whereas detection-related activity for memory and perception overlapped in VPC. The DPC overlap was greater in the left intraparietal sulcus, and the VPC overlap in the left TPJ. Around overlapping areas, there were differences in the spatial distribution of memory and perception activations, which were consistent with trends reported in the literature. Second, both DPC and VPC showed stronger connectivity with medial-temporal lobe during the memory task and with visual cortex during the perception task. These findings suggest that, during memory tasks, some parietal regions mediate similar attentional control processes to those involved in perception tasks (orienting in DPC vs. detection in VPC), although on different types of information (mnemonic vs. sensory).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cabeza, R; Mazuz, YS; Stokes, J; Kragel, JE; Woldorff, MG; Ciaramelli, E; Olson, IR; Moscovitch, M

Published Date

  • November 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 3209 - 3217

PubMed ID

  • 21568633

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3518433

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1530-8898

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1162/jocn_a_00065


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States