Article: article from journal or magazin.
Activation of human hippocampal formation during memory for faces: a PET study.
Publication types: Journal Article ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tPublication Status: ppublish
Using positron emission tomography, we examined cerebral blood flow changes in human subjects whilst engaged in the visual processing of face stimuli. A task requiring anterograde memory of faces was compared with a control task involving simple gender classification--considered an automatic process that did not require any significant memory component. A second task requiring recognition of famous politicians' faces, and therefore involving long-term "semantic" memory, was also contrasted with the control task. To identify brain regions associated with primary visual processing of the face we compared all tasks against a control population scanned with eyes closed. Our results indicate--(1) The involvement of bilateral lingual/fusiform gyri and the right parahippocampal gyrus in addition to striate cortex in primary visual processing of the face; (2) the involvement of the left hippocampal gyrus in both types of memory; (3) a relative decrease in local cerebral blood flow in the inferior parietal lobules in long-term "semantic" memory. In addition, both memory tasks resulted in a suppression of cerebral blood flow in the left superior temporal cortex. We conclude that right hippocampal regions are involved in a largely automatic, primary processing of faces, while left hippocampal regions are additionally involved when explicit memory for faces is required.
Adult, Cerebral Cortex/physiology, Cerebral Cortex/radionuclide imaging, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Cognition/physiology, Face, Form Perception/physiology, Functional Laterality/physiology, Hippocampus/blood supply, Hippocampus/physiology, Humans, Male, Memory/physiology, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Sex Factors, Tomography, Emission-Computed
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