The shared and unique neural correlates of personal semantic, general semantic, and episodic memory

Tanguay, Annick F. N., Palombo, Daniela J., Love, Brittany, Glikstein, Rafael, Davidson, Patrick S. R. and Renoult, Louis ORCID: (2023) The shared and unique neural correlates of personal semantic, general semantic, and episodic memory. eLife, 12. ISSN 2050-084X

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One of the most common distinctions in long-term memory is that between semantic (i.e., general world knowledge) and episodic (i.e., recollection of contextually-specific events from one’s past). However, emerging cognitive neuroscience data suggest a surprisingly large overlap between the neural correlates of semantic and episodic memory. Moreover, personal semantic memories (i.e., knowledge about the self and one’s life) have been studied little and do not easily fit into the standard semantic-episodic dichotomy. Here we used fMRI to record brain activity while 48 participants verified statements concerning general facts, autobiographical facts, repeated events, and unique events. In multivariate analysis, all four types of memory involved activity within a common network bilaterally (e.g., frontal pole, paracingulate gyrus, medial frontal cortex, middle/superior temporal gyrus, precuneus, posterior cingulate, angular gyrus) and some areas of the medial temporal lobe. Yet the four memory types differentially engaged this network, increasing in activity from general to autobiographical facts, from autobiographical facts to repeated events, and from repeated to unique events. Our data are compatible with a component process model, in which declarative memory types rely on different weightings of the same elementary processes, such as perceptual imagery, spatial features, and self-reflection.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Early title: Personal semantic, general semantic, and episodic memory: Shared and unique neural correlates Data availability: End-stage data (i.e., PLS BSR nifti files) and some scripts (e.g., for event files) are available on OSF ( The authors did not receive approval from the ethics committee to deposit data in a public repository. Additional information may be requested to the corresponding authors. Deidentified data may be shared (i.e., converted dicom files to nifti without identifiers, defaced T1w, other data with minimal demographic/health information to avoid identification). Researchers will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement and to describe briefly the purpose to ensure it fits with the general purpose of the study described in the consent form. No formal application will be required. Data may not be analyzed for commercial purposes. The following data sets were generated: Tanguay A, Palombo D, Love B, Glikstein R, Davidson P, Renoult L (2022) Open Science Framework ID py5k6. Personal Semantic, General Semantic, and Episodic Memory: Shared and Unique Neural Correlates.
Uncontrolled Keywords: biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology(all),immunology and microbiology(all),neuroscience(all),4* ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1300
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > UEA Experimental Philosophy Group
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2023 01:23
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2024 03:17
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.83645


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