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Neuroimage. 1999 Jul;10(1):45-54.

Effective auditory-verbal encoding activates the left prefrontal and the medial temporal lobes: A generalization to illiterate subjects.

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Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, 171 76, Sweden.


Recent event-related FMRI studies indicate that the prefrontal (PFC) and the medial temporal lobe (MTL) regions are more active during effective encoding than during ineffective encoding. The within-subject design and the use of well-educated young college students in these studies makes it important to replicate these results in other study populations. In this PET study, we used an auditory word-pair association cued-recall paradigm and investigated a group of healthy upper middle-aged/older illiterate women. We observed a positive correlation between cued-recall success and the regional cerebral blood flow of the left inferior PFC (BA 47) and the MTLs. Specifically, we used the cued-recall success as a covariate in a general linear model and the results confirmed that the left inferior PFC and the MTL are more active during effective encoding than during ineffective encoding. These effects were observed during encoding of both semantically and phonologically related word pairs, indicating that these effects are robust in the studied population, that is, reproducible within group. These results generalize the results of Brewer et al. (1998, Science 281, 1185-1187) and Wagner et al. (1998, Science 281, 1188-1191) to an upper middle aged/older illiterate population. In addition, the present study indicates that effective relational encoding correlates positively with the activity of the anterior medial temporal lobe regions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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