Send to

Choose Destination
Cereb Cortex. 2008 Sep;18(9):2192-207. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhm245. Epub 2008 Jan 29.

Dissociation between explicit memory and configural memory in the human medial temporal lobe.

Author information

Center for Learning and Memory, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C7000, Austin, TX 78712-0805, USA.


Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the current study explored the differential mnemonic contributions of the hippocampus and surrounding medial temporal lobe (MTL) cortices to explicit recognition memory and configural learning. Using a task that required processing of repeated and novel visuospatial contexts across multiple trials, we examined MTL activation in relation to 3 forms of learning in a single paradigm: 1) context-independent procedural learning, 2) context-dependent configural learning, and 3) explicit recognition memory. Activations in hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex were associated with explicit memory, differentiating between subsequently remembered and forgotten repeated contexts, but were unrelated to context-dependent configural learning. Activations in regions of perirhinal and entorhinal cortex were associated with configural learning of repeated contexts independent from explicit memory for those contexts. Procedural learning was unrelated to activation in any MTL region. The time course of activation across learning further differed in MTL subregions with MTL cortex demonstrating repetition-related decreases and hippocampus repetition-related increases. These repetition effects were differentially sensitive to recognition with only activation in hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex tracking recognized items. These imaging findings converge with studies of amnesia and indicate dissociable roles for hippocampus in learning that supports explicit recognition and for anterior MTL cortex in configural learning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center