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Journal Article

Neural correlates of strategic memory retrieval: Differentiating between spatial-associative and temporal-associative strategies

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De Rover, M., Petersson, K. M., Van der Werf, S. P., Cools, A. R., Berger, H. J., & Fernández, G. (2008). Neural correlates of strategic memory retrieval: Differentiating between spatial-associative and temporal-associative strategies. Human Brain Mapping, 29, 1068-1079. doi:10.1002/hbm.20445.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-3A89-A
Remembering complex, multidimensional information typically requires strategic memory retrieval, during which information is structured, for instance by spatial- or temporal associations. Although brain regions involved in strategic memory retrieval in general have been identified, differences in retrieval operations related to distinct retrieval strategies are not well-understood. Thus, our aim was to identify brain regions whose activity is differentially involved in spatial-associative and temporal-associative retrieval. First, we showed that our behavioral paradigm probing memory for a set of object-location associations promoted the use of a spatial-associative structure following an encoding condition that provided multiple associations to neighboring objects (spatial-associative condition) and the use of a temporal- associative structure following another study condition that provided predominantly temporal associations between sequentially presented items (temporal-associative condition). Next, we used an adapted version of this paradigm for functional MRI, where we contrasted brain activity related to the recall of object-location associations that were either encoded in the spatial- or the temporal-associative condition. In addition to brain regions generally involved in recall, we found that activity in higher-order visual regions, including the fusiform gyrus, the lingual gyrus, and the cuneus, was relatively enhanced when subjects used a spatial-associative structure for retrieval. In contrast, activity in the globus pallidus and the thalamus was relatively enhanced when subjects used a temporal-associative structure for retrieval. In conclusion, we provide evidence for differential involvement of these brain regions related to different types of strategic memory retrieval and the neural structures described play a role in either spatial-associative or temporal-associative memory retrieval.