Lateral posterior parietal activity during source memory judgments of perceived and imagined events

Memories of real and imagined events are qualitatively distinct, and therefore may be supported by different neural mechanisms. In the present study, we tested whether brain regions are differentially activated during source discriminations of perceived versus imagined events. During the encoding phase, subjects perceived and imagined images of objects in response to a cue word. Then, at test, they made judgments about whether old and new cue words corresponded to items that were previously perceived or imagined, or if they were new. The results demonstrated that the left lateral posterior parietal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were significantly more active during source attributions of perceived compared to imagined events. In addition, activity in these regions was associated with successful item memory (hits>correct rejections) for perceived, but not imagined events. These findings of a source-based dissociation of successful retrieval activity have important implications regarding theories of parietal contributions to recognition memory.

D. R. King and M. B. Miller
Volume: 53
Pages: 122–36
Date: January, 2014
ICB Affiliated Authors: Michael B Miller