Poster E88, Monday, March 27, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
False memory for context and true memory for context similarly activate the parahippocampal cortex
Jessica M. Karanian1, Scott D. Slotnick1; 1Boston College
The role of the parahippocampal cortex is currently a topic of debate. The visual-spatial processing view posits that the parahippocampal cortex processes spatial layouts and sensory details, while the general contextual processing view posits that the parahippocampal cortex processes spatial and non-spatial contexts. Previous studies have found that true memories activate the parahippocampal cortex to a greater degree than false memories, which has been taken to support the visual-spatial processing view as true memories are typically associated with greater visual-spatial detail than false memories. However, in previous studies, contextual details were also greater for true memories than false memories. Thus, such differential activity may have reflected differences in contextual processing rather than visual-spatial processing. In the present fMRI study, we employed a source memory paradigm to investigate the role of the parahippocampal cortex during true memory and false memory for contextual information to distinguish between the visual-spatial processing view and the general contextual processing view. During encoding, shapes were presented to the left or right of fixation. During retrieval, old shapes were presented at fixation and participants indicated each shape’s previous spatial location followed by a confidence rating. High confidence true memories for context and high confidence false memories for context similarly activated the parahippocampal cortex. Critically, high confidence true memories were associated with greater visual-spatial processing than high confidence false memories, while both memory types were associated with contextual processing. Therefore, the present results suggest that the parahippocampal cortex is associated with general contextual processing rather than visual-spatial processing.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic