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Cereb Cortex. 2016 May;26(5):2006-17. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhv022. Epub 2015 Feb 27.

Short-Term Memory Depends on Dissociable Medial Temporal Lobe Regions in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment.

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Department of Radiology Penn Image Computing and Science Laboratory.
Department of Neurology Penn Memory Center.
Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Department of Neurology Penn Memory Center Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Short-term memory (STM) has generally been thought to be independent of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) in contrast to long-term memory (LTM). Prodromal Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a condition in which the MTL is a major early focus of pathology and LTM is thought disproportionately affected relative to STM. However, recent studies have suggested a role for the MTL in STM, particularly hippocampus, when binding of different elements is required. Other work has suggested involvement of extrahippocampal MTL structures, particularly in STM tasks that involve item-level memory. We examined STM for individual objects, locations, and object-location conjunctions in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often associated with prodromal AD. Relative to age-matched, cognitively normal controls, MCI patients not only displayed impairment on object-location conjunctions but were similarly impaired for non-bound objects and locations. Moreover, across all participants, these conditions displayed dissociable correlations of cortical thinning along the long axis of the MTL and associated cortical nodes of anterior and posterior MTL networks. These findings support the role of the MTL in visual STM tasks and the division of labor of MTL in support of different types of memory representations, overlapping with findings in LTM.


Alzheimer's disease; hippocampus; memory; mild cognitive impairment; perirhinal cortex

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