The self-reference effect in dementia: Differential involvement of cortical midline structures in Alzheimer’s disease and behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia

Wong, Stephanie, Irish, Muireann, Leshikar, Eric D., Duarte, Audrey, Bertoux, Maxime, Savage, Greg, Hodges, John R., Piguet, Olivier and Hornberger, Michael (2017) The self-reference effect in dementia: Differential involvement of cortical midline structures in Alzheimer’s disease and behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia. Cortex, 91. 169–185. ISSN 0010-9452

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Abstract

Encoding information in reference to the self enhances subsequent memory for the source of this information. In healthy adults, self-referential processing has been proposed to be mediated by the cortical midline structures (CMS), with functional differentiation between anterior-ventral, anterior-dorsal and posterior regions. While both Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) patients show source memory impairment, it remains unclear whether they show a typical memory advantage for self-referenced materials. We also sought to identify the neural correlates of this so-called ‘self-reference effect’ (SRE) in these patient groups. The SRE paradigm was tested in AD (n=16) and bvFTD (n=22) patients and age-matched healthy controls (n=17). In this task, participants studied pictures of common objects paired with one of two background scenes (sources) under self-reference or other-reference encoding instructions, followed by an item and source recognition memory test. Voxel-based morphometry was used to investigate correlations between SRE measures and regions of grey matter atrophy in the CMS. The behavioural results indicated that self-referential encoding did not ameliorate the significant source memory impairments in AD and bvFTD patients. Furthermore, the reduced benefit of self-referential relative to other-referential encoding was not related to general episodic memory deficits. Our imaging findings revealed that reductions in the SRE were associated with atrophy in the anterior-dorsal CMS across both patient groups, with additional involvement of the posterior CMS in AD and anterior-ventral CMS in bvFTD. These findings suggest that although the SRE is comparably reduced in AD and bvFTD, this arises due to impairments in different subcomponents of self-referential processing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: self-reference effect,source memory,alzheimer’s disease,behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia,voxel-based morphometry
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2016 14:00
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2020 00:53
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/60856
DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.09.013

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