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Neuropsychologia. 2005;43(5):659-74.

Co-activation of the amygdala, hippocampus and inferior frontal gyrus during autobiographical memory retrieval.

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1
Psychological and Brain Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0999, USA.

Abstract

Functional MRI was used to investigate the role of medial temporal lobe and inferior frontal lobe regions in autobiographical recall. Prior to scanning, participants generated cue words for 50 autobiographical memories and rated their phenomenological properties using our autobiographical memory questionnaire (AMQ). During scanning, the cue words were presented and participants pressed a button when they retrieved the associated memory. The autobiographical retrieval task was interleaved in an event-related design with a semantic retrieval task (category generation). Region-of-interest analyses showed greater activation of the amygdala, hippocampus, and right inferior frontal gyrus during autobiographical retrieval relative to semantic retrieval. In addition, the left inferior frontal gyrus showed a more prolonged duration of activation in the semantic retrieval condition. A targeted correlational analysis revealed pronounced functional connectivity among the amygdala, hippocampus, and right inferior frontal gyrus during autobiographical retrieval but not during semantic retrieval. These results support theories of autobiographical memory that hypothesize co-activation of frontotemporal areas during recollection of episodes from the personal past.

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