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Poster E80 - Sketchpad Series

Investigating the neural bases of episodic memory and navigation in children and young adults

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Stephanie Doner1 (, Kim Nguyen1, Nora Newcombe1, Ingrid Olson1; 1Temple University

Cognitive maps and episodic memory are often linked, but there is no agreement regarding the nature of the overlap, if any, and whether relations wax or wane over development. We used a real-world encoding task and structural MRI to investigate how these cognitive functions are related. Participants (n = 130) were led along a staged tour where they interacted with and learned facts about 16 objects. Episodic memory was evaluated with an autobiographical free recall and a cued recognition test. Spatial memory was evaluated by testing route efficiency, judgement of relative direction (JRD), and map building. T1- and T2-weighted images were acquired from 116 participants in a 3.0T Siemens scanner. Bilateral CA1-2, DG-CA3, and Sub volumes were automatically segmented using the Bender et al. (2018) atlas, manually corrected, and adjusted for intercranial volume. Behavioral results indicate the measures of spatial and episodic memory contribute to two components, accounting for 85.6% of the total variance. Navigation measures of route efficiency and map building and memory measures of spatiotemporal details and free recall contribute strongly to the first factor. The second factor includes perceptual and event details and JRD. Although the two factors are strongly correlated (r = .81, p < .001), factor congruence analysis shows that across age, the two factors are distinct. These behavioral findings suggest that navigation and episodic memory are neither cleanly delineated nor the same construct but overlap due to shared task demands and neural substrates. Ongoing analysis explores correlations with HPC and subfields volumes.



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April 13–16  |  2024