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J Neurophysiol. 2009 May;101(5):2632-48. doi: 10.1152/jn.91213.2008. Epub 2009 Feb 18.

Repetition priming influences distinct brain systems: evidence from task-evoked data and resting-state correlations.

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Harvard University, Department of Psychology, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Behavioral dissociations suggest that a single experience can separately influence multiple processing components. Here we used a repetition priming functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm that directly contrasted the effects of stimulus and decision changes to identify the underlying brain systems. Direct repetition of stimulus features caused marked reductions in posterior regions of the inferior temporal lobe that were insensitive to whether the decision was held constant or changed between study and test. By contrast, prefrontal cortex showed repetition effects that were sensitive to the exact stimulus-to-decision mapping. Analysis of resting-state functional connectivity revealed that the dissociated repetition effects are embedded within distinct brain systems. Regions that were sensitive to changes in the stimulus correlated with perceptual cortices, whereas the decision changes attenuated activity in regions correlated with middle-temporal regions and a frontoparietal control system. These results thus explain the long-known dissociation between perceptual and conceptual components of priming by revealing how a single experience can separately influence distinct, concurrently active brain systems.

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