Poster Session F, Tuesday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Investigating contributions of memory systems to concept generalization using individual differences in cognitive abilities
Takako Iwashita1, Caitlin R. Bowman1, Dagmar Zeithamova1; 1University of Oregon
Concept generalization involves regions implicated in both declarative memory (hippocampus, prefrontal cortex) and procedural learning (caudate, posterior visual cortex). Whether these systems compete or cooperate is a matter of debate. To elucidate the shared or dissociable roles of these brain systems in concept generalization, we tested the relationship between individual differences in several cognitive abilities and neural categorization effects in the hippocampus, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, caudate, and lateral occipital cortex. While undergoing fMRI, participants completed a visual category generalization task in which they learned category labels for a set of cartoon animals and then were tested on their ability to generalize category labels to new animals. A separate cognitive assessment included measures of working memory, processing speed, perceptual reasoning, and verbal comprehension. We found that verbal comprehension uniquely predicted concept generalization performance and correlated with neural categorization effects in all regions. These results suggest common rather than dissociable contributions of distinct memory systems to concept generalization and newly implicates verbal comprehension as a factor contributing to visual categorization.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic