Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex involvement in memory post-retrieval monitoring revealed in both item and associative recognition tests

Neuroimage. 2005 Feb 15;24(4):1113-21. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.10.036. Epub 2004 Dec 15.


Post-retrieval monitoring is a process that contributes to episodic memory retrieval by allowing people to evaluate the relevance of retrieved information in relation to the task requirements. Previous studies have suggested that post-retrieval monitoring is supported by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate involvement of the DLPFC in post-retrieval monitoring in two different recognition tests (item recognition and associative recognition). The item recognition memory test required subjects to make old/new judgments and the associative recognition memory test required them to make intact/rearranged judgments. Because the post-retrieval monitoring demand increases during old (hits) relative to new (correct rejections) item recognition trials, and also during rearranged (correct rejections) relative to intact (hits) associative recognition trials, we evaluated the brain activation associated with the interaction of Memory test (item versus associative) by Recognition trial (hit versus correct rejection). As expected, the DLPFC was activated in this interaction as well as for both old relative to new item recognition trials and rearranged relative to intact associative recognition trials. This study provides strong evidence that DLPFC activation supports post-retrieval monitoring across different types of recognition tasks.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Association*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*