Recall versus familiarity when recall fails for words and scenes: The differential roles of the hippocampus, perirhinal cortex, and category-specific cortical regions
Brain research | 13 Nov 2012
AJ Ryals, AM Cleary and CA Seger
This fMRI study examined recall and familiarity for words and scenes using the novel recognition without cued recall (RWCR) paradigm. Subjects performed a cued recall task in which half of the test cues resembled studied items (and thus were familiar) and half did not. Subjects also judged the familiarity of the cue itself. RWCR is the finding that, among cues for which recall fails, subjects generally rate cues that resemble studied items as more familiar than cues that do not. For words, left and right hippocampal activity increased when recall succeeded relative to when it failed. When recall failed, right hippocampal activity was decreased for familiar relative to unfamiliar cues. In contrast, right Prc activity increased for familiar cues for which recall failed relative to both familiar cues for which recall succeeded and to unfamiliar cues. For scenes, left hippocampal activity increased when recall succeeded relative to when it failed but did not differentiate familiar from unfamiliar cues when recall failed. In contrast, right Prc activity increased for familiar relative to unfamiliar cues when recall failed. Category-specific cortical regions showed effects unique to their respective stimulus types: The visual word form area (VWFA) showed effects for recall vs. familiarity specific to words, and the parahippocampal place area (PPA) showed effects for recall vs. familiarity specific to scenes. In both cases, these effects were such that there was increased activity occurring during recall relative to when recall failed, and decreased activity occurring for familiar relative to unfamiliar cues when recall failed.
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