Activity reductions in perirhinal cortex predict conceptual priming and familiarity-based recognition

Wei Chun Wang, Charan Ranganath, Andrew P. Yonelinas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Although it is well established that regions in the medial temporal lobes are critical for explicit memory, recent work has suggested that one medial temporal lobe subregion - the perirhinal cortex (PRC) - may also support conceptual priming, a form of implicit memory. Here, we sought to investigate whether activity reductions in PRC, previously linked to familiarity-based recognition, might also support conceptual implicit memory retrieval. Using a free association priming task, the current study tested the prediction that PRC indexes conceptual priming independent of contributions from perceptual and response repetition. Participants first completed an incidental semantic encoding task outside of the MRI scanner. Next, they were scanned during performance of a free association priming task, followed by a recognition memory test. Results indicated successful conceptual priming was associated with decreased PRC activity, and that an overlapping region within the PRC also exhibited activity reductions that covaried with familiarity during the recognition memory test. Our results demonstrate that the PRC contributes to both conceptual priming and familiarity-based recognition, which may reflect a common role of this region in implicit and explicit memory retrieval.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Conceptual priming
  • Familiarity
  • Hippocampus
  • Implicit memory
  • Perirhinal cortex
  • Recognition memory
  • Recollection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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