The roles of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex during visual long-term memory
Jeye, Brittany M. “The roles of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex during visual long-term memory”, Boston College, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:108478.
We are able to consciously remember an incredible amount of information for long periods of time (Brady et al., 2008, 2013). Furthermore, we often think about our memories in terms of how successful we are in retrieving them, such as vividly recalling the smell of your grandmother’s cooking. However, we can also identify the times when we have forgotten information, such as misremembering the name of an acquaintance or misplacing your car keys. Such instances of forgetting have been suggested to be caused by inhibitory processes acting on associated information, such as the inhibitory processing shown in retrieval-induced forgetting where the retrieval of specific items leads to forgetting related information (Anderson et al., 2004; Wimber et al., 2015). Thus, long-term memory is said to rely on both accurately retrieving specific details and inhibiting potentially distracting information. In Chapter 1, I demonstrate that specificity of long-term memory depends on inhibiting related information through a series of behavioral experiments investigating item memory for faces and abstract shapes. In Chapter 2 and Chapter 3, I examine the neural regions associated with long-term memory specificity and inhibitory processing by focusing on the functional roles of the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, two key regions associated with long-term memory. In Chapter 2, I provide evidence that the hippocampus is associated with memory specificity by demonstrating that distinct regions of the hippocampus are associated with memory for different visual field locations. Furthermore, I provide evidence that the hippocampus operates in continuous manner during recollection (i.e., conscious retrieval of details). In Chapter 3, I demonstrate that the prefrontal cortex can inhibit both the hippocampus and language processing regions during retrieval of distracting information during episodic and semantic memory, respectively.