The neural basis of episodic memory: Evidence from functional neuroimaging.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
We review some of our recent research using functional neuroimaging to investigate neural activity supporting the encoding and retrieval of episodic memories, that is, memories for unique events. Findings from studies of encoding indicate that, at the cortical level, the regions responsible for the effective encoding of a stimulus event as an episodic memory include some of the regions that are also engaged to process the event 'online'. Thus, it appears that there is no single cortical site or circuit responsible for episodic encoding. The results of retrieval studies indicate that successful recollection of episodic information is associated with activation of lateral parietal cortex, along with more variable patterns of activity in dorsolateral and anterior prefrontal cortex. Whereas parietal regions may play a part in the representation of retrieved information, prefrontal areas appear to support processes that act on the products of retrieval to align behaviour with the demands of the retrieval task.
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