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Cortex. 2016 Aug;81:192-202. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.05.002. Epub 2016 May 15.

Differential compromise of prospective and retrospective metamemory monitoring and their dissociable structural brain correlates.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA; Neuroscience Program, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA. Electronic address: edie@stanford.edu.

Abstract

Metamemory refers to personal knowledge about one's own memory ability that invokes cognitive processes relevant to monitoring and controlling memory. An impaired monitoring system can potentially result in unawareness of symptoms as can occur in addiction denial. Monitoring processes can be assessed with prospective measures such as Feeling-Of-Knowing (FOK) judgments on prediction of future recognition performance, or retrospective confidence judgments (RCJ) made on previous memory performance. Alcoholic patients with amnesia showed poor FOK but intact RCJ. The neuropsychological continuum from mild to moderate deficits in nonamnesic to amnesic alcoholism raised the possibility that alcoholics uncomplicated by clinically-detectable amnesia may suffer anosognosia for their mild memory deficits. Herein 24 abstinent alcoholics and 26 age-matched controls completed an episodic memory paradigm including prospective FOK and retrospective RCJ monitoring measures and underwent 3T structural magnetic resonance imaging. Alcoholics were less accurate than controls in recognition and in assessing their future recognition performance, which was marked by overestimation, but were as accurate as controls on confidence ratings of actual recognition performance. Examination of brain structure-function relations revealed a double dissociation where FOK accuracy was selectively related to insular volume, and retrospective confidence accuracy was selectively related to frontolimbic structural volumes. Impaired FOK with intact RCJ was consistent with mild anosognosia and suggested evidence for neuropsychological and neural mechanisms of unawareness in addiction.

KEYWORDS:

Alcoholism; Brain; MRI; Metamemory; Mild anosognosia

PMID:
27244277
PMCID:
PMC4958575
DOI:
10.1016/j.cortex.2016.05.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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