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Does hippocampal volume explain performance differences on hippocampal-dependent tasks?

Clark, IA; Monk, AM; Hotchin, V; Pizzamiglio, G; Liefgreen, A; Callaghan, MF; Maguire, EA; (2020) Does hippocampal volume explain performance differences on hippocampal-dependent tasks? Neuroimage , 221 , Article 117211. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117211. Green open access

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Abstract

Marked disparities exist across healthy individuals in their ability to imagine scenes, recall autobiographical memories, think about the future and navigate in the world. The importance of the hippocampus in supporting these critical cognitive functions has prompted the question of whether differences in hippocampal grey matter volume could be one source of performance variability. Evidence to date has been somewhat mixed. In this study we sought to mitigate issues that commonly affect these types of studies. Data were collected from a large sample of 217 young, healthy adult participants, including whole brain structural MRI data (0.8mm isotropic voxels) and widely-varying performance on scene imagination, autobiographical memory, future thinking and navigation tasks. We found little evidence that hippocampal grey matter volume was related to task performance in this healthy sample. This was the case using different analysis methods (voxel-based morphometry, partial correlations), when whole brain or hippocampal regions of interest were examined, when comparing different sub-groups (divided by gender, task performance, self-reported ability), and when using latent variables derived from across the cognitive tasks. Hippocampal grey matter volume may not, therefore, significantly influence performance on tasks known to require the hippocampus in healthy people. Perhaps only in extreme situations, as in the case of licensed London taxi drivers, are measurable ability-related hippocampus volume changes consistently exhibited.

Type: Article
Title: Does hippocampal volume explain performance differences on hippocampal-dependent tasks?
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117211
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117211
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Hippocampal volume, autobiographical memory, future thinking, individual differences, scene construction, spatial navigation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107445
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