Functional coupling between CA3 and laterobasal amygdala supports schema dependent memory formation

Neuroimage. 2021 Dec 1:244:118563. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118563. Epub 2021 Sep 17.


The medial temporal lobe drives semantic congruence dependent memory formation. However, the exact roles of hippocampal subfields and surrounding brain regions remain unclear. Here, we used an established paradigm and high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging of the medial temporal lobe together with cytoarchitectonic probability estimates in healthy humans. Behaviorally, robust congruence effects emerged in young and older adults, indicating that schema dependent learning is unimpaired during healthy aging. Within the medial temporal lobe, semantic congruence was associated with hemodynamic activity in the subiculum, CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus, as well as the entorhinal cortex and laterobasal amygdala. Importantly, a subsequent memory analysis showed increased activity for later remembered vs. later forgotten congruent items specifically within CA3, and this subfield showed enhanced functional connectivity to the laterobasal amygdala. As such, our findings extend current models on schema dependent learning by pinpointing the functional properties of subregions within the medial temporal lobe.

Keywords: Amygdala; Congruence effect; Medial temporal lobe; Schema; Subfields.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amygdala / diagnostic imaging*
  • CA3 Region, Hippocampal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Entorhinal Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory, Long-Term / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Young Adult