Memory-related functional connectivity in visual processing regions varies by prior emotional context

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Memory retrieval involves the reactivation of processes that were engaged at encoding. Using a Generalized Linear Model to test for effects of valence, our prior study suggests that memory for information previously encoded in a negative context reengages sensory processing regions at retrieval to a greater extent than positive. Here, we used partial least squares analyses of the same dataset to determine whether this valence-specific processing was one of the dominant patterns in the retrieval data. Trials previously paired with a face revealed a strong pattern of emotion that did not vary by valence, but for trials previously paired with a scene, an extensive network of regions was active during recollection of trials paired with negative content. These same regions were negatively correlated with recollection of trials paired with positive content. These results confirm that, despite no emotional content present during the time of retrieval, strong patterns of emotional study context are present in the data. Moreover, at least for trials paired with scenes at encoding, valence-specific networks are linked to episodic memory recollection, providing further support for recapitulation of sensory processing during recollection of negative emotional information.

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