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Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and relational binding in long-term memory

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Neuropsychological research has highlighted the role of the lateral prefrontal cortex in control processes that contribute to memory. Neuroimaging research has generally converged with this idea, in that activity in ventrolateral prefrontal regions has been consistently linked with successful long-term memory formation. However, imaging studies have not consistently identified dorsolateral prefrontal regions as a major contributor, and in fact some findings have been argued to show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex implements processes that are deleterious for memory formation. In my talk, I will present evidence from recent neuroimaging studies that support an alternative perspective. Results from these studies suggest that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex specifically contributes to successful long-term memory formation through its role in processing relationships amongst items in working memory. In contrast, the results suggest that ventrolateral prefrontal regions play a much more generalized role in memory encoding. These results are consistent with hierarchical models of functional organization in the lateral prefrontal cortex.

This talk is part of the CBU one-off Talks series.

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