[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using fMRI, we investigated the functional organization of prefrontal cortex (PFC) as participants briefly thought of a single
just-experienced item (i.e., refreshed an active representation). The results of six studies, and a meta-analysis including previous studies, identified regions
in left dorsolateral, anterior, and ventrolateral PFC associated in varying degrees with refreshing different types of information
(visual and auditory words, drawings, patterns, people, places, or locations). In addition, activity increased in anterior
cingulate with selection demands and in orbitofrontal cortex when a nonselected item was emotionally salient, consistent with
a role for these areas in cognitive control (e.g., overcoming “mental rubbernecking”). We also found evidence that presenting
emotional information disrupted an anterior component of the refresh circuit. We suggest that refreshing accounts for some
neural activity observed in more complex tasks, such as working memory, long-term memory, and problem solving, and that its
disruption (e.g., from aging or emotion) could have a broad impact.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, we explored how item repetition affects source memory for new item-feature associations (picture-location or picture-color). We presented line drawings varying numbers of times in Phase 1. In Phase 2, each drawing was presented once with a critical new feature. In Phase 3, we tested memory for the new source feature of each item from Phase 2. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrated and replicated the negative effects of item repetition on incidental source memory. Prior item repetition also had a negative effect on source memory when different source dimensions were used in Phases 1 and 2 (Experiment 3) and when participants were explicitly instructed to learn source information in Phase 2 (Experiments 4 and 5). Importantly, when the order between Phases 1 and 2 was reversed, such that item repetition occurred after the encoding of critical item-source combinations, item repetition no longer affected source memory (Experiment 6). Overall, our findings did not support predictions based on item predifferentiation, within-dimension source interference, or general interference from multiple traces of an item. Rather, the findings were consistent with the idea that prior item repetition reduces attention to subsequent presentations of the item, decreasing the likelihood that critical item-source associations will be encoded.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Of central relevance to the recovered/false memory debate is understanding the factors that cause us to believe that a mental experience is a memory of an actual past experience. According to the source monitoring framework (SMF), memories are attributions that we make about our mental experiences based on their subjective qualities, our prior knowledge and beliefs, our motives and goals, and the social context. From this perspective, we discuss cognitive behavioral studies using both objective (e.g., recognition, source memory) and subjective (e.g., ratings of memory characteristics) measures that provide much information about the encoding, revival and monitoring processes that yield both true and false memories. The chapter also considers how neuroimaging findings, especially from functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, are contributing to our understanding of the relation between memory and reality.
Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation 01/2012; 58:15-52. · 1.17 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This functional magnetic resonance imaging study examined medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) activity as young and older participants rated an unknown young and older person, and themselves, on personality characteristics. For both young and older participants, there was greater activation in ventral mPFC (anterior cingulate) when they made judgments about own-age than other-age individuals. Additionally, across target age and participant age, there was greater activity in a more anterior region of ventral mPFC (largely medial frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate) when participants rated others than when they rated themselves. We discuss potential interpretations of these findings in the context of previous results suggesting functional specificity of subregions of ventral mPFC.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We compared two attentional executive processes: updating, which involved attending to a perceptually present stimulus, and refreshing, which involved attending to a mentally active representation of a stimulus no longer perceptually present. In separate blocks, participants either replaced a word being held in working memory with a different word (update), or they thought back to a just previously seen word that was no longer perceptually present (refresh). Bilateral areas of frontal cortex, supplementary motor area, and parietal cortex were similarly active for both updating and refreshing, suggesting that a common network of areas is recruited to bring information to the current focus of attention. In a direct comparison of update and refresh, regions more active for update than refresh included regions primarily in right frontal cortex, as well as bilateral posterior visual processing regions. Regions more active for refresh than update included regions primarily in left dorsolateral frontal and left temporal cortex and bilateral inferior frontal cortex. These findings help account for the similarity in areas activated across different cognitive tasks and may help specify the particular executive processes engaged in more complex tasks.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we compared young and older adults' brain activity as they thought about motivationally self-relevant agendas (hopes and aspirations, duties and obligations) and concrete control items (e.g., shape of USA). Young adults' activity replicated a double dissociation (M. K. Johnson et al., 2006): An area of medial frontal gyrus/anterior cingulate cortex was most active during hopes and aspirations trials, and an area of medial posterior cortex-primarily posterior cingulate-was most active during duties and obligations trials. Compared with young adults, older adults showed attenuated responses in medial cortex, especially in medial prefrontal cortex, with both less activity during self-relevant trials and less deactivation during control trials. The fMRI data, together with post-scan reports and the behavioral literature on age-group differences in motivational orientation, suggest that the differences in medial cortex seen in this study reflect young and older adults' focus on different information during motivationally self-relevant thought. Differences also may be related to an age-associated deficit in controlled cognitive processes that are engaged by complex self-reflection and mediated by prefrontal cortex.
Psychology and Aging 07/2009; 24(2):438-49. · 2.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A short-term source monitoring procedure with functional magnetic resonance imaging assessed neural activity when participants made judgments about the format of 1 of 4 studied items (picture, word), the encoding task performed (cost, place), or whether an item was old or new. The results support findings from long-term memory studies showing that left anterior ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) is engaged when people make source attributions about reflectively generated information (cognitive operations, conceptual features). The findings also point to a role for right lateral PFC in attention to perceptual features and/or familiarity in making source decisions. Activity in posterior regions also differed depending on what was evaluated. These results provide neuroimaging evidence for theoretical approaches emphasizing that agendas influence which features are monitored during remembering (e.g., M. K. Johnson, S. Hashtroudi, & D. S. Lindsay, 1993). They also support the hypothesis that some of the activity in left lateral PFC and posterior regions associated with remembering specific information is not unique to long-term memory but rather is associated with agenda-driven source monitoring processes common to working memory and long-term memory.
Journal of Experimental Psychology Learning Memory and Cognition 07/2008; 34(4):780-90. · 2.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We explored age-related differences in executive function during selection of a target from among active representations. Refreshing (thinking briefly of a just-activated representation) is an executive process that foregrounds a target relative to other active representations. In a behavioral study, participants saw one or three words, then saw a cue to refresh one of the words, saw one word again and read it, or read a new word. Increasing the number of active representations increased response times (RTs) only in the refresh condition for young adults but increased RTs equally in all conditions for older adults, suggesting that they experienced interference from activated irrelevant information during perception and reflection. Consistent with this interpretation, in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study, young adults showed two areas of the left dorsolateral frontal cortex and a medial area of frontal cortex, including anterior cingulate, that were relatively more sensitive to number of active representations during refresh than read trials; for older adults these areas were equally sensitive to number of active items for refresh and read trials. Young and older adults showed activity associated with refreshing on trials requiring selection in left mid-ventral frontal cortex (an area associated with selection from active representations); older adults also showed activity in left anterior ventral frontal cortex (an area associated with controlled semantic activation). Our results support the hypothesis of an age-related decrease in ability to gate out activated but currently irrelevant information, and are consistent with a dissociation of function between left mid-ventral and left anterior ventral frontal cortex.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 06/2008; 20(5):852-62. · 4.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current models of executive function hold that the internal representations of stimuli used during reflective thought are maintained in the same posterior cortical regions initially activated during perception, and that activity in such regions is modulated by top-down signals originating in prefrontal cortex. In an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we presented participants with two pictures simultaneously, a face and a scene, immediately followed either by a repetition of one of the pictures (perception) or by a cue to think briefly of one of the just-seen, but no longer present, pictures (refreshing, a reflective act). Refreshing faces and scenes modulated activity in the fusiform face area (FFA) and parahippocampal place area (PPA), respectively, as well as other regions exhibiting relative perceptual selectivity for either faces or scenes. Four scene-selective regions (lateral precuneus, retrosplenial cortex, PPA, and middle occipital gyrus) showed an anatomical gradient of responsiveness to top-down reflective influences versus bottom-up perceptual influences. These results demonstrate that a brief reflective act can modulate posterior cortical activity in a stimulus-specific manner, suggesting that such modulatory mechanisms are engaged even during transient ongoing thought. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that refreshing is a component of more complex modulatory operations such as working memory and mental imagery, and that refresh-related activity may thus contribute to the common activation patterns seen across different cognitive tasks.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Executive functions include processes by which important information (e.g., words, objects, task goals, contextual information) generated via perception or thought can be foregrounded and thereby influence current and subsequent processing. One simple executive process that has the effect of foregrounding information is refreshing--thinking briefly of a just-activated representation. Previous studies (e.g., Johnson et al., 2005) identified refresh-related activity in several areas of left prefrontal cortex (PFC). To further specify the respective functions of these PFC areas in refreshing, in Experiment 1, healthy young adult participants were randomly cued to think of a just previously seen word (refresh) or cued to press a button (act). Compared to simply reading a word, refresh and act conditions resulted in similar levels of activity in left lateral anterior PFC but only refreshing resulted in greater activity in left dorsolateral PFC. In Experiment 2, refreshing was contrasted with a minimal phonological rehearsal condition. Refreshing was associated with activity in left dorsolateral PFC and rehearsing with activity in left ventrolateral PFC. In both experiments, correlations of activity among brain areas suggest different functional connectivity for these processes. Together, these findings provide evidence that (1) left lateral anterior PFC is associated with initiating a non-automatic process, (2) left dorsolateral PFC is associated with foregrounding a specific mental representation, and (3) refreshing and rehearsing are neurally distinguishable processes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated self-regulatory focus (Higgins, 1997, 1998) as one source of variation in encoding of, and memory for, emotional words. Participants wrote about their hopes and aspirations (promotion focus) or duties and obligations (prevention focus). In a subsequent incidental encoding task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), participants evaluated emotional (positive and negative) and neutral words as either good or bad. A surprise memory test followed, outside the scanner. We observed a dissociation in posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), where activity during the evaluation task was greater when words were focus-consistent (positive for the promotion focus group, negative for the prevention focus group). Similarly, activity in a parahippocampal region was related to subsequent memory, but only for focus-consistent words. Given the role of the PCC in self-referential processing and episodic retrieval, and the parahippocampus in memory-related processing, these data suggest that regulatory focus influences which items are preferentially associated with self-referential information in memory. Such preferential processing may help explain why events are remembered differently by different individuals, which subsequently may influence interpersonal interactions.
Social neuroscience 01/2007; 2(1):14-27. · 3.17 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the hypothesis that arousal recruits attention to item information, thereby disrupting working memory processes that help bind items to context. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we compared brain activity when participants remembered negative or neutral picture-location conjunctions (source memory) versus pictures only. Behaviorally, negative trials showed disruption of short-term source, but not picture, memory; long-term picture recognition memory was better for negative than for neutral pictures. Activity in areas involved in working memory and feature integration (precentral gyrus and its intersect with superior temporal gyrus) was attenuated on negative compared with neutral source trials relative to picture-only trials. Visual processing areas (middle occipital and lingual gyri) showed greater activity for negative than for neutral trials, especially on picture-only trials.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously demonstrated mental rubbernecking during the simple cognitive act of refreshing a just activated representation. Participants saw two neutral and one negative word presented simultaneously and, 425 msec later, were cued to mentally refresh (i.e., think of) one of the no-longer-present words. They were slower to refresh a neutral word than the negative word (Johnson et al., 2005, Experiment 6A). The present experiments extended that work by showing mental rubbernecking when negative items were sometimes the target of refreshing, but not when negative items were present but never the target of refreshing, indicating that expectations influence mental rubbernecking. How expectations might modulate the impact of emotional distraction is discussed.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a working memory procedure, we compared source memory judgments (format and location) with old-new judgments in young and older adults. Consistent with previous fMRI findings, for young adults, an area of left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex showed greater activity during format than old-new judgments made immediately, as well as those made after a brief, filled delay. In contrast, for older adults, activity in this area was not greater during format than old-new judgments at either retention interval. These data provide additional evidence that left lateral prefrontal cortex is important in monitoring specific source information and new evidence that older adults' source memory deficits may be related, in part, to reduced function of this brain area.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate whether emotional arousal affects memorial feature binding, we had participants complete a short-term source-monitoring task-remembering the locations of four different pictures over a brief delay. On each trial, the four pictures were all either high arousal, medium arousal, or low arousal. Memory for picture-location conjunctions decreased as arousal increased. In addition, source memory for the location of negative pictures was worse among participants with higher depression scores. Two subsequent functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments showed that relative to low-arousal trials, high- and medium-arousal trials resulted in greater activity in areas associated with visual processing (fusiform gyrus, middle temporal gyrus/middle occipital gyrus, lingual gyrus) and less activity in superior precentral gyrus and the precentral-superior temporal intersect. These findings suggest that arousal (and perhaps negative valence for depressed people) recruits attention to items thereby disrupting working memory processes that help bind features together.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 05/2006; 18(4):614-25. · 4.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Motivationally significant agendas guide perception, thought and behaviour, helping one to define a 'self' and to regulate interactions with the environment. To investigate neural correlates of thinking about such agendas, we asked participants to think about their hopes and aspirations (promotion focus) or their duties and obligations (prevention focus) during functional magnetic resonance imaging and compared these self-reflection conditions with a distraction condition in which participants thought about non-self-relevant items. Self-reflection resulted in greater activity than distraction in dorsomedial frontal/anterior cingulate cortex and posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus, consistent with previous findings of activity in these areas during self-relevant thought. For additional medial areas, we report new evidence of a double dissociation of function between medial prefrontal/anterior cingulate cortex, which showed relatively greater activity to thinking about hopes and aspirations, and posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus, which showed relatively greater activity to thinking about duties and obligations. One possibility is that activity in medial prefrontal cortex is associated with instrumental or agentic self-reflection, whereas posterior medial cortex is associated with experiential self-reflection. Another, not necessarily mutually exclusive, possibility is that medial prefrontal cortex is associated with a more inward-directed focus, while posterior cingulate is associated with a more outward-directed, social or contextual focus.
Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 02/2006; 1(1):56-64. · 5.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using fMRI, we investigated the functional organization of prefrontal cortex (PFC) as participants briefly thought of a single just-experienced item (i.e., refreshed an active representation). The results of six studies, and a meta-analysis including previous studies, identified regions in left dorsolateral, anterior, and ventrolateral PFC associated in varying degrees with refreshing different types of information (visual and auditory words, drawings, patterns, people, places, or locations). In addition, activity increased in anterior cingulate with selection demands and in orbitofrontal cortex when a nonselected item was emotionally salient, consistent with a role for these areas in cognitive control (e.g., overcoming "mental rubbernecking"). We also found evidence that presenting emotional information disrupted an anterior component of the refresh circuit. We suggest that refreshing accounts for some neural activity observed in more complex tasks, such as working memory, long-term memory, and problem solving, and that its disruption (e.g., from aging or emotion) could have a broad impact.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Higgins (1997, 1998) proposed two self-regulatory or motivational systems--one sensitive to gains (promotion) and one sensitive to losses (prevention). To examine the interaction of motivation and cognition, participants made good/bad or abstract/concrete judgments about concepts during fMRI scanning. After scanning, participants rated the extent to which each stimulus was good and bad and completed a questionnaire that measured promotion/prevention orientation. For each participant, contrast maps were generated representing the association between neural processing and stimulus valence (good/bad), and these factors were then regressed against participants' promotion and prevention focus scores. For the good/bad but not for the abstract/concrete task, promotion focus was associated with greater activity in the amygdala, anterior cingulate, and extrastriate cortex for positive stimuli, and prevention focus was associated with activity in the same regions for negative stimuli; these results are consistent with the hypothesis that the way in which evaluative information is processed is influenced by individual differences in self-regulatory focus.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a study of the neural components of automatic and controlled social evaluation, White participants viewed Black and White faces during event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. When the faces were presented for 30 ms, activation in the amygdala-a brain region associated with emotion-was greater for Black than for White faces. When the faces were presented for 525 ms, this difference was significantly reduced, and regions of frontal cortex associated with control and regulation showed greater activation for Black than White faces. Furthermore, greater race bias on an indirect behavioral measure was correlated with greater difference in amygdala activation between Black and White faces, and frontal activity predicted a reduction in Black-White differences in amygdala activity from the 30-ms to the 525-ms condition. These results provide evidence for neural distinctions between automatic and more controlled processing of social groups, and suggest that controlled processes may modulate automatic evaluation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous work suggests that explicit and implicit evaluations (good-bad) involve somewhat different neural circuits that process different dimensions such as valence, emotional intensity, and complexity. To better understand these differences, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify brain regions that respond differentially to such dimensions depending on whether or not an explicit evaluation is required. Participants made either good-bad judgments (evaluative) or abstract-concrete judgments (not explicitly evaluative) about socially relevant concepts (e. g., ''murder,'' ''happiness,'' ''abortion,'' ''welfare''). After scanning, participants rated the concepts for goodness, badness, emotional intensity, and how much they tried to control their evaluation of the concept. Amygdala activation correlated with emotional intensity and right insula activation correlated with valence in both tasks, indicating that these aspects of stimuli were processed by these areas regardless of intention. In contrast, for the explicitly evaluative good-bad task only, activity in the anterior cingulate, frontal pole, and lateral areas of the orbital frontal cortex correlated with ratings of control, which in turn were correlated with a measure of ambivalence. These results highlight that evaluations are the consequence of complex circuits that vary depending on task demands.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 01/2005; 16(10):1717-29. · 4.49 Impact Factor