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Psychol Bull. 2009 Jul;135(4):638-77. doi: 10.1037/a0015849.

Source monitoring 15 years later: what have we learned from fMRI about the neural mechanisms of source memory?

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Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8205, USA.


Focusing primarily on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), this article reviews evidence regarding the roles of subregions of the medial temporal lobes, prefrontal cortex, posterior representational areas, and parietal cortex in source memory. In addition to evidence from standard episodic memory tasks assessing accuracy for neutral information, the article considers studies assessing the qualitative characteristics of memories, the encoding and remembering of emotional information, and false memories, as well as evidence from populations that show disrupted source memory (older adults, individuals with depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, or schizophrenia). Although there is still substantial work to be done, fMRI is advancing understanding of source memory and highlighting unresolved issues. A continued 2-way interaction between cognitive theory, as illustrated by the source monitoring framework (M. K. Johnson, S. Hashtroudi, & D. S. Lindsay, 1993), and evidence from cognitive neuroimaging studies should clarify conceptualization of cognitive processes (e.g., feature binding, retrieval, monitoring), prior knowledge (e.g., semantics, schemas), and specific features (e.g., perceptual and emotional information) and of how they combine to create true and false memories.

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