FMRI congruous word repetition effects reflect memory variability in normal elderly

John M. Olichney*, Jason R. Taylor, Dieter G. Hillert, Shiao hui Chan, David P. Salmon, James Gatherwright, Vicente J. Iragui, Marta Kutas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Neural circuits mediating repetition effect for semantically congruous words on functional MRI were investigated in seventeen normal elderly (mean age=70). Participants determined if written words were semantically congruent (50% probability) with spoken statements. Subsequent cued-recall revealed robust explicit memory only for congruous items (83% versus 8% for incongruous). Event-related BOLD responses to New > Old congruous words were found in the left > right cingulate and fusiform gyri, left parahippocampal cortex, middle and inferior frontal gyri (IFG). A group with above-median subsequent recall had markedly more widespread BOLD responses than a Low-Recall subgroup, with larger responses in the left medial temporal lobe (LMTL), IFG, and bilateral cingulate gyri. The magnitude of LMTL activation (New-Old) correlated with subsequent cued-recall, while the spatial extent of LMTL activation (New > Old) correlated with recall and recognition. Both magnitude and spatial extent of left fusiform activation correlated with subsequent recall/recognition. A neural circuit of left-hemisphere brain regions, many identified as P600 generators by invasive electrophysiological studies, was activated by New > Old congruous words, likely mediating successful verbal encoding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1975-1990
Number of pages16
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Fusiform gyrus
  • Language
  • Learning
  • Medial temporal lobe
  • Memory
  • Neuroimaging
  • Semantic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Ageing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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