Send to

Choose Destination
Neuroimage. 2005 May 1;25(4):1224-31.

Hippocampal activations during encoding and retrieval in a verbal working memory paradigm.

Author information

Department of Psychology, UCLA, 1285 Franz Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563, USA.


Though the hippocampus has been associated with encoding and retrieval processes in episodic memory, the precise nature of its involvement in working memory has yet to be determined. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study employed a verbal working memory paradigm that allows for the within-subject comparison of functional activations during encoding, maintenance, and retrieval. In each trial, participants were shown 5 target words and, after an 8 s delay, a series of probe words. Probe words consisted of target matches, phonetically or semantically related foils, or foils unrelated to the target words. Both the left and right hippocampi showed higher mean activation amplitudes during encoding than maintenance. In contrast, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) showed greater activation during maintenance than encoding. Both hippocampal and DLPFC regions were more active during retrieval than maintenance. Furthermore, an analysis of retrieval activation separated by probe type showed a trend toward greater bilateral hippocampal activation for probes related (both semantically and phonetically) to the target than for unrelated probes and still greater activation for target matches. This pattern suggests that there may be roles for the hippocampus and DLPFC in working memory that change as function of information processing stage. Additionally, the trend towards increased involvement of the hippocampus with the increase in relatedness of the probe stimuli to the information maintained is interpreted to be consistent with the role of the hippocampus in recollection-based retrieval in long-term memory and may indicate that this role extends to working memory processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center