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Neuroimage. 1998 Jan;7(1):14-22.

The neural response in short-term visual recognition memory for perceptual conjunctions.

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Wellcome Department of Cognitive Neurology, Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom.


Short-term visual memory has been widely studied in humans and animals using delayed matching paradigms. The present study used positron emission tomography (PET) to determine the neural substrates of delayed matching to sample for complex abstract patterns over a 5-s delay. More specifically, the study assessed any differential neural response associated with remembering individual perceptual properties (color only and shape only) compared to conjunction between these properties. Significant activations associated with short-term visual memory (all memory conditions compared to perceptuomotor control) were observed in extrastriate cortex, medial and lateral parietal cortex, anterior cingulate, inferior frontal gyrus, and the thalamus. Significant deactivations were observed throughout the temporal cortex. Although the requirement to remember color compared to shape was associated with subtly different patterns of blood flow, the requirement to remember perceptual conjunctions between these features was not associated with additional specific activations. These data suggest that visual memory over a delay of the order of 5 s is mainly dependent on posterior perceptual regions of the cortex, with the exact regions depending on the perceptual aspect of the stimuli to be remembered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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