Differential functional response in the posteromedial cortices and hippocampus to stimulus repetition during successful memory encoding

Authors

  • Patrizia Vannini,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Neurology, Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
    3. Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden
    • Gerontology Research Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, 149 13th Street, Suite 2691, Boston, MA 02129
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  • Trey Hedden,

    1. Department of Radiology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts
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  • Caroline Sullivan,

    1. Department of Neurology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts
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  • Reisa A. Sperling

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Neurology, Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
    3. Department of Neurology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts
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Abstract

The reduction of neural activity in response to repeated stimuli, repetition suppression, is one of the most robust experience-related cortical dynamics known to cognitive neuroscience. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies during episodic memory encoding have demonstrated repetition suppression in the hippocampus and this reduction has been linked to successful memory formation. An emerging body of functional imaging evidence suggests that the posteromedial cortex, in addition to the medial temporal lobes, may have a pivotal role in successful episodic memory. This area typically deactivates during initial memory encoding, but its functional changes in response to repetitive encoding remain poorly specified. Here, we investigate the repetition-related changes in the posteromedial cortex as well as the hippocampus while the participants underwent an fMRI experiment involving repetitive encoding of face–name pairs. During the first encoding trial of face–name pairs, significant activation in the hippocampus was observed. The second and third encoding trials demonstrated a repetition suppression effect in the hippocampus, indicated by a stepwise decrease of activation. In contrast, the posteromedial cortex demonstrated significant deactivation during the initial encoding trial of face–name pairs. The second and third encoding trials demonstrated a stepwise decrease of deactivation, repetition enhancement, with activity at or above baseline levels in the final encoding trial. These findings demonstrate that hippocampus repetition suppression as well as posteromedial repetition enhancement is related to successful encoding processes and are discussed in relation to the default mode hypothesis as well as potential implications for understanding late-life amnestic disorders. Hum Brain Mapp, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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