What determines which sources within an episode are successfully remembered?

What determines which sources within an episode are successfully remembered?
These are brain regions showing subsequent item memory effects modulated by task orientation. The analysis revealed clusters (circle) located in the left middle frontal gyrus (L.MFG). Credit: Neural Regeneration Research

Memory about a core item (such as a word, object, or picture) is called item memory while memory about the context or related features of a core item is defined as source memory. What determines which sources within an episode are successfully remembered is of particular interest to researchers. Behavioral evidence suggests that the orientation of a memory task influences whether the related source of the item will be remembered later.

A study by Prof. Xiuyan Guo and colleagues from East China Normal University, China explored changes in the hippocampus and while participants completed two tasks: an item-oriented task and a source-oriented task. The researchers found that subsequent source memory effects in the right prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were modulated by task orientation, whereas task orientation modulated item effects in the prefrontal cortex.

These findings, published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 8, No. 26, 2013), highlight the possibility that the contributes to the intentional encoding of item-source associations, whereas the prefrontal cortex is biased toward processing information to which attention is directed.

More information: "Effects of task orientation on subsequent source memory as revealed by functional MRI " by Xiuyan Guo et al. Guo XY, Zhu L, Zheng L, Li JQ, Wang QF, Yang ZL. Effects of task orientation on subsequent source memory as revealed by functional MRI. Neural Regen Res. 2013;8(26):2424-2431.

Provided by Neural Regeneration Research

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study reveals brain connections for introspection

Oct 16, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—The human mind is not only capable of cognition and registering experiences but also of being introspectively aware of these processes. Until now, scientists have not known if such introspection ...

How the brain copes with multi tasking alters with age

Jan 17, 2013

The pattern of blood flow in the prefrontal cortex in the brains alters with age during multi-tasking, finds a new study in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Neuroscience. Increased blood volume, measured using oxygen ...

Recommended for you

Molecular basis of age-related memory loss explained

2 hours ago

From telephone numbers to foreign vocabulary, our brains hold a seemingly endless supply of information. However, as we are getting older, our ability to learn and remember new things declines. A team of ...

The neurochemistry of addiction

2 hours ago

We've all heard the term "addictive personality," and many of us know individuals who are consistently more likely to take the extra drink or pill that puts them over the edge. But the specific balance of ...

Study examines blood markers, survival in patients with ALS

19 hours ago

The blood biomarkers serum albumin and creatinine appear to be associated with survival in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and may help define prognosis in patients after they are diagnosed with the fatal ...

User comments