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Neurobiol Aging. 2009 May;30(5):717-30. Epub 2007 Oct 25.

Neural correlates of incidental memory in mild cognitive impairment: an fMRI study.

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  • 1L.C. Campbell Cognitive Neurology Research Unit, Neurosciences Research, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Canada.


Behaviour and fMRI brain activation patterns were compared during encoding and recognition tasks in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (n=14) and normal controls (NC) (n=14). Deep (natural vs. man-made) and shallow (color vs. black and white) decisions were made at encoding and pictures from each condition were presented for yes/no recognition 20 min later. MCI showed less inferior frontal activation during deep (left only) and superficial encoding (bilaterally) and in both medial temporal lobes (MTL). When performance was equivalent (recognition of words encoded superficially), MTL activation was similar for the two groups, but during recognition testing of deeply encoded items NC showed more activation in both prefrontal and left MTL region. In a region of interest analysis, the extent of activation during deep encoding in the parahippocampi bilaterally and in left hippocampus correlated with subsequent recognition accuracy for those items in controls but not in MCI, which may reflect the heterogeneity of activation responses in conjunction with different degrees of pathology burden and progression status in the MCI group.

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