- Neuroanatomical correlates of episodic encoding and retrieval in young and elderly subjects
- Volume | Issue number
- 126 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Lesion studies have shown convincingly that the medial temporal lobes (MTL) and frontal lobes are critical to episodic memory. Ageing generally has been found to have a generally negative effect on episodic memory performance, which might relate to neurofunctional changes in the frontal and medial temporal brain regions. In the present study, we used functional MRI (fMRI) to investigate separately the contributions of encoding and retrieval to the age-related decline in memory. To this end, we compared brain activity patterns obtained during incidental encoding and subsequent retrieval in three groups: a group of young subjects, a group of elderly subjects showing reduced memory performance (ELD-RED), and a group of elderly subjects who still performed in the normal range (ELD-NORM). This allowed us to differentiate between age-related changes in brain activity that affect memory function and those that do not have an apparent effect on memory function, because they are found in both elderly groups. Contrary to previous imaging studies on this topic, we used event-related fMRI to control for differences in performance level across groups by including correct responses only.
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