Dissociation of Recollection-Related Neural Activity in Ventral Lateral Parietal Cortex


fMRI responses to recognition memory test items in two regions of ventral lateral parietal cortex-the angular gyrus and temporo-parietal junction (TPJ)-are enhanced when recognition is accompanied by recollection. According to the ‘episodic buffer’ hypothesis, ventral parietal recollection effects reflect processes involved in maintaining or representing recollected information. According to the ‘attention to memory’ hypothesis, however, the effects reflect attentional re-orienting to the products of recollection. The present experiment addressed the question whether these operations map on to the angular gyrus and TPJ, respectively. Subjects were scanned during a memory test that required a Remember/Know/New and a source memory judgment, allowing recollected items to be segregated by amount of contextual information recollected. Angular gyrus activity tracked amount of recollected information, whereas activity in the TPJ was enhanced for items endorsed as recollected, but was insensitive to amount of information recollected. Thus, the two regions likely support functionally dissociable processes.

Cognitive Neuroscience, 3(3–4), 142–149