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The neural basis of autobiographical and semantic memory: New evidence from three PET studies

Graham, Kim Samantha ORCID:, Lee, A. C. H., Brett, M. and Patterson, K. 2003. The neural basis of autobiographical and semantic memory: New evidence from three PET studies. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience 3 (3) , pp. 234-254. 10.3758/CABN.3.3.234

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A novel, neuropsychologically informed paradigm (extended retrieval of events in response to a cue word) was used to investigate the neural basis of autobiographical and semantic memory. Contrasting retrieval of autobiographical memories with retrieval of semantic facts (ABM — SEM) in 24 subjects across three PET studies revealed bilateral involvement of the middle temporal gyrus (BA 21) and medial frontal cortex (BA 9/10). The opposite contrast, SEM — ABM, resulted in increased regional cerebral blood flow in left posterior temporal regions (BA 37) and left prefrontal cortex (BA 45/46). Laterality maps suggest that the bilateral pattern seen in our studies, but not often in other neuroimaging investigations, reflects the use of a task stressing retrieval of specific personal events. Further comparisons revealed that the activation in the right anterior temporal lobe during autobiographical recall was virtually identical to that seen during retrieval of information about famous people or events in contrast with retrieval of general semantic facts. These findings suggest that the retrieval of an autobiographical event requires participation from conceptual knowledge, and that this type of knowledge is bilaterally distributed in the temporal lobes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1530-7026
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:02

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