Article

Dissociable roles of the anterior temporal regions in successful encoding of memory for person identity information

Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 4.69). 10/2009; 22(10):2226-37. DOI: 10.1162/jocn.2009.21349
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Memory for person identity information consists of three main components: face-related information, name-related information, and person-related semantic information, such as the person's job title. Although previous studies have demonstrated the importance of the anterior temporal lobe (ATL) in the retrieval of associations between these kinds of information, there is no evidence concerning whether the ATL region contributes to the encoding of this memory, and whether ATL roles are dissociable between different levels of association in this memory. Using fMRI, we investigated dissociable roles within the ATL during successful encoding of this memory. During encoding, participants viewed unfamiliar faces, each paired with a job title and name. During retrieval, each learned face was presented with two job titles or two names, and participants were required to choose the correct job title or name. Successful encoding conditions were categorized by subsequent retrieval conditions: successful encoding of names and job titles (HNJ), names (HN), and job titles (HJ). The study yielded three main findings. First, the dorsal ATL showed greater activations in HNJ than in HN or HJ. Second, ventral ATL activity was greater in HNJ and HJ than in HN. Third, functional connectivity between these regions was significant during successful encoding. The results are the first to demonstrate that the dorsal and ventral ATL roles are dissociable between two steps of association, associations of person-related semantics with name and with face, and a dorsal-ventral ATL interaction predicts subsequent retrieval success of memory for person identity information.

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    • "Artificial learning of face affective information has been reported [33], and was related to increased activations in AC. Artificial learning of face related semantics has also been reported, coupled to increased activation of anterior temporal areas [34]. Thus, inclusion of these artificial stimuli in activation profiles, as well as measurement of the durations of the corresponding activations is necessary. "
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    • "Recordings from these cells show that they can represent an associative pairing between faces and abstract patterns, acquired through training (Eifuku et al., 2010). Tsukiura et al. (2010) showed that successful encoding of personrelated semantics with their names was associated with blood oxygen level-dependent activity in the left anterior temporal lobe. Patients with damage to this region have difficulty forming new associations between names and pictures of objects (Sharon et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: The uncinate fasciculus is a bidirectional, long-range white matter tract that connects lateral orbitofrontal cortex and Brodmann area 10 with the anterior temporal lobes. Although abnormalities in the uncinate fasciculus have been associated with several psychiatric disorders and previous studies suggest it plays a putative role in episodic memory, language and social emotional processing, its exact function is not well understood. In this review we summarize what is currently known about the anatomy of the uncinate, we review its role in psychiatric and neurological illnesses, and we evaluate evidence related to its putative functions. We propose that an overarching role of the uncinate fasciculus is to allow temporal lobe-based mnemonic associations (e.g. an individual's name + face + voice) to modify behaviour through interactions with the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, which provides valence-based biasing of decisions. The bidirectionality of the uncinate fasciculus information flow allows orbital frontal cortex-based reward and punishment history to rapidly modulate temporal lobe-based mnemonic representations. According to this view, disruption of the uncinate may cause problems in the expression of memory to guide decisions and in the acquisition of certain types of learning and memory. Moreover, uncinate perturbation should cause problems that extend beyond memory to include social-emotional problems owing to people and objects being stripped of personal value and emotional history and lacking in higher-level motivational value.
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    • "More recently it was shown that cells in the ventral ATL in monkeys can represent an trained associative pairing between faces and abstract patterns (Eifuku et al., 2010). Likewise, in humans it has been reported that successful encoding of person-related semantics with a proper name was associated with left ATL BOLD activity (Tsukiura et al., 2010). Even more compelling are findings showing that patients with left ATL lesions are unable to form new associations between names and pictures of objects (Sharon et al., 2011). "
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