Left anterior prefrontal activation increases with demands to recall specific perceptual information.

C. Ranganath, M. K. Johnson, M. D'Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


Results from neuroimaging studies have led to competing theories regarding the contributions of prefrontal regions to memory formation and retrieval. To investigate this issue, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess prefrontal activation during encoding and retrieval of pictures of objects. Responses to studied and unstudied objects at retrieval were compared between two tests with differing demands for the specificity of information to be retrieved (source vs old-new recognition). Results showed that bilateral ventral [Brodmann's areas (BA) 44, 45, and 47] and right dorsal (BA 9) prefrontal regions were activated during both encoding and retrieval, but activity in these regions was not reliably modulated by the specificity of information to be retrieved. A region in left anterior prefrontal cortex (BA 10/46) was reliably activated during retrieval trials, and activation in this region increased with demands to retrieve perceptually detailed information about studied objects. Our results show that left anterior prefrontal cortex is engaged during the monitoring and evaluation of specific memory characteristics at retrieval-a process critical for accurate episodic remembering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Left anterior prefrontal activation increases with demands to recall specific perceptual information.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this