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Poster E39

Distinct brain pathways for recalling the conceptual and perceptual details of naturalistic emotional memories

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC
Also presenting in Data Blitz Session 4 - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 1:00 – 2:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall EF.

Nina Curko1 (, Rosalie Samide1, Maureen Ritchey1; 1Boston College

Emerging evidence suggests a dissociation among default mode network (DMN) subsystems during retrieval of conceptual and perceptual event details. An open question is whether these subsystems are differentially involved in remembering emotionally negative and positive events, which vary in their mnemonic content. For instance, compared to positive memories, negative memories tend to be associated with greater perceptual detail and sensory recapitulation. Here we examined how default subsystems support conceptual versus perceptual remembering, and how these processes are modulated by emotional valence. In a naturalistic design, participants viewed positive, negative, and neutral news clips, then brain activity was recorded while participants covertly recalled the videos in response to word cues. One day later, participants wrote memory descriptions for each video, and content was categorized into conceptual and perceptual details. Linear mixed effects models were used to examine the effects of valence and number of remembered conceptual and perceptual details on retrieval-related activity in the hippocampus, amygdala, and DMN regions. We found that activity in the hippocampus and amygdala was related to perceptual detail memory, and that in the amygdala, this relationship was stronger for negative memories. We additionally observed dissociations in default network contributions to emotional memory retrieval: whereas ventral DMN activity was related to memory for perceptual details, especially for neutral memories, dorsal DMN regions were sensitive to valence and correlated with memory for conceptual details for emotional memories. These results suggest differential contributions of default subsystems to recalling conceptual and perceptual details of emotional memories.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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April 13–16  |  2024