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: 4.09). 10/2009; 22(10):2226-37. DOI: 10.1162/jocn.2009.21349
Source: PubMed


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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    ABSTRACT: Different kinds of known faces activate brain areas to dissimilar degrees. However, the tuning to type of knowledge, and the temporal course of activation, of each area have not been well characterized. Here we measured, with functional magnetic resonance imaging, brain activity elicited by unfamiliar, visually familiar, and personally-familiar faces. We assessed response amplitude and duration using flexible hemodynamic response functions, as well as the tuning to face type, of regions within the face processing system. Core face processing areas (occipital and fusiform face areas) responded to all types of faces with only small differences in amplitude and duration. In contrast, most areas of the extended face processing system (medial orbito-frontal, anterior and posterior cingulate) had weak responses to unfamiliar and visually-familiar faces, but were highly tuned and exhibited prolonged responses to personally-familiar faces. This indicates that the neural processing of different types of familiar faces not only differs in degree, but is probably mediated by qualitatively distinct mechanisms.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · PLoS ONE
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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.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Brain
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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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    ABSTRACT: Evidence suggests the anterior temporal lobe (ATL) plays an important role in person identification and memory. In humans, neuroimaging studies of person memory report consistent activations in the ATL to famous and personally familiar faces and studies of patients report resection or damage of the ATL causes an associative prosopagnosia in which face perception is intact but face memory is compromised. In addition, high-resolution fMRI studies of non-human primates and electrophysiological studies of humans also suggest regions of the ventral ATL are sensitive to novel faces. The current study extends previous findings by investigating whether similar subregions in the dorsal, ventral, lateral, or polar aspects of the ATL are sensitive to personally familiar, famous, and novel faces. We present the results of two studies of person memory: a meta-analysis of existing fMRI studies and an empirical fMRI study using optimized imaging parameters. Both studies showed left-lateralized ATL activations to familiar individuals while novel faces activated the right ATL. Activations to famous faces were quite ventral, similar to what has been reported in previous high-resolution fMRI studies of non-human primates. These findings suggest that face memory-sensitive patches in the human ATL are in the ventral/polar ATL.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
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