Neural correlates for feeling-of-knowing: an fMRI parametric analysis

Neuron. 2002 Sep 26;36(1):177-86. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(02)00939-x.


The "feeling-of-knowing" (FOK) is a subjective sense of knowing a word before recalling it, and the FOK provides us clues to understanding the mechanisms of human metamemory systems. We investigated neural correlates for the FOK based on the recall-judgment-recognition paradigm. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging with a parametric analysis was used. We found activations in left dorsolateral, left anterior, bilateral inferior, and medial prefrontal cortices that significantly increased as the FOK became greater, and the activations remained significant even when the potentially confounding factor of the response latency was removed. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the FOK region in the right inferior frontal gyrus and a subset of the FOK region in the left inferior frontal gyrus are not recruited for successful recall processes, suggesting their particular role in metamemory processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Verbal Behavior / physiology*