The neural regions sustaining episodic encoding and recognition of objects

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In this functional MRI experiment, encoding of objects was associated with activation in left ventrolateral prefrontal/insular and right dorsolateral prefrontal and fusiform regions as well as in the left putamen. By contrast, correct recognition of previously learned objects (R judgments) produced activation in left superior frontal, bilateral inferior frontal, and right cerebellar regions, whereas correct rejection of distractor objects (N judgments) was associated with activation in bilateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, in right parietal and cerebellar regions, in the left putamen, and in the right caudate nucleus. The R minus N comparison showed activation in the left lateral prefrontal cortex and in bilateral cingulate cortices and precunei, while the N minus R comparison did not reveal any positive signal change. These results support the view that similar regions of the frontal lobe are involved in episodic encoding and retrieval processes, and that the successful episodic retrieval of newly learned objects is mainly based on a frontoparietal network.

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