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Poster C73

Exploring the Role of Interoception and Interoceptive Brain Regions in Episodic Memory Across the Adult Lifespan: An fMRI Study

Poster Session C - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Kyoungeun Lee1 (, Audrey Duarte1; 1UT Austin

Interoception—the sensation and interpretation of inner body status— has been known to play a critical role in various cognitive functions. However, its impact on episodic memory and age-related memory impairment remains unclear. Regarding neural mechanisms, the anterior insula cortex (AIC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) have been known as a neural network integrating interoceptive and cognitive information, yet their role in episodic memory remains unexplored. In this study, to bridge this gap in knowledge, we aim to examine the role of interoception and interoceptive brain regions in episodic memory across adult lifespan by conducting an fMRI experiment. In the fMRI experiment, participants aged 18-79 engaged in an image encoding task under two different conditions: Interoceptive-orienting (IO) and Exteroceptive-orienting (EO) conditions. In IO, they rated images based on heart-sensation intensity, while in EO, they rated based on the size of main subject. A week later, recognition memory was measured. Our findings showed superior subsequent memory in IO condition compared to EO, regardless of age. Preliminary fMRI data reveal greater activation in the AIC and ACC during successful IO encoding then EO. Moreover, we found stronger functional connectivity between these interoceptive regions and the hippocampus during IO than EO, which indicates the interaction between interoceptive network and hippocampus can be a supporting mechanism of role of interoception on episodic memory. These results proposed that interoception may play a crucial role in supporting episodic memory remains across the adult lifespan. This finding shed light on the development of interoception-based interventions to enhance memory.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Development & aging


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