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Neuroimage. 2019 Nov 1;201:116020. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116020. Epub 2019 Jul 16.

Structure-function associations of successful associative encoding.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Otto Hahn Research Group on Associative Memory in Old Age, Berlin, Germany; Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address: nina.becker@ki.se.
2
Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
3
Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; Umeå Center for Functional Brain Imaging, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine, Umeå University, S-90197, Umeå, Sweden.
4
Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Otto Hahn Research Group on Associative Memory in Old Age, Berlin, Germany; Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Developmental Psychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands.

Abstract

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have demonstrated a critical role of hippocampus and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in associative memory. Similarly, evidence from structural MRI studies suggests a relationship between gray-matter volume in these regions and associative memory. However, how brain volume and activity relate to each other during associative-memory formation remains unclear. Here, we used joint independent component analysis (jICA) to examine how gray-matter volume and brain activity would be associated during associative encoding, especially in medial-temporal lobe (MTL) and IFG. T1-weighted images were collected from 27 young adults, and functional MRI was employed during intentional encoding of object pairs. A subsequent recognition task tested participants' memory performance. Unimodal analyses using voxel-based morphometry revealed that participants with better associative memory showed larger gray-matter volume in left anterior hippocampus. Results from the jICA revealed one component that comprised a covariance pattern between gray-matter volume in anterior and posterior MTL and encoding-related activity in IFG. Our findings suggest that gray matter within the MTL modulates distally distinct parts of the associative encoding circuit, and extend previous studies that demonstrated MTL-IFG functional connectivity during associative memory tasks.

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