Interactions between visual attention and episodic retrieval: dissociable contributions of parietal regions during gist-based false recognition

Neuron. 2012 Sep 20;75(6):1122-34. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.08.020.


The interaction between episodic retrieval and visual attention is relatively unexplored. Given that systems mediating attention and episodic memory appear to be segregated, and perhaps even in competition, it is unclear how visual attention is recruited during episodic retrieval. We investigated the recruitment of visual attention during the suppression of gist-based false recognition, the tendency to falsely recognize items that are similar to previously encountered items. Recruitment of visual attention was associated with activity in the dorsal attention network. The inferior parietal lobule, often implicated in episodic retrieval, tracked veridical retrieval of perceptual detail and showed reduced activity during the engagement of visual attention, consistent with a competitive relationship with the dorsal attention network. These findings suggest that the contribution of the parietal cortex to interactions between visual attention and episodic retrieval entails distinct systems that contribute to different components of the task while also suppressing each other.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Eye Movements
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / blood supply
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Reaction Time
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*
  • Students
  • Universities
  • Visual Perception / physiology*


  • Oxygen