fMRI studies of human memory have identified a "parietal memory network" (PMN) that displays distinct responses to novel and familiar stimuli, typically deactivating during initial encoding but robustly activating during retrieval. The small size of PMN regions, combined with their proximity to the neighboring default mode network, makes a targeted assessment of their responses in highly sampled subjects important for understanding information processing within the network. Here, we describe an experiment in which participants made semantic decisions about repeatedly-presented stimuli, assessing PMN BOLD responses as items transitioned from experimentally novel to repeated. Data are from the highly-sampled subjects in the Midnight Scan Club dataset, enabling a characterization of BOLD responses at both the group and single-subject level. Across all analyses, PMN regions deactivated in response to novel stimuli and displayed changes in BOLD activity across presentations, but did not significantly activate to repeated items. Results support only a portion of initially hypothesized effects, in particular suggesting that novelty-related deactivations may be less susceptible to attentional/task manipulations than are repetition-related activations within the network. This in turn suggests that novelty and familiarity may be processed as separable entities within the PMN.
Keywords: Familiarity; Highly-sampled human subjects; Memory; Parietal cortex; Retrieval; fMRI.
Published by Elsevier Inc.