Formation of long-term memory representation in human temporal cortex related to pictorial paired associates

Ken Ichiro Yamashita, Satoshi Hirose, Akira Kunimatsu, Shigeki Aoki, Junichi Chikazoe, Koji Jimura, Yoshitaka Masutani, Osamu Abe, Kuni Ohtomo, Yasushi Miyashita, Seiki Konishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


It is widely held that long-term memory gradually develops in the temporal neocortex after initial memory encoding into the hippocampus. However, little is known as to whether and where long-term memory can be newly created in the human temporal neocortex. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we detected brain activity in the temporal neocortex that was developed ∼8 weeks after study of unfamiliar pictorial paired associates. Two sets of paired Fourier figures were studied, one ∼8 weeks before test and the other immediately before test, keeping the correct performance during the tests balanced across the two sets of stimuli. Significant signal increase was observed in the right hippocampus during retrieval of newly studied pairs relative to initially studied pairs. In contrast, significant signal increase was observed in the anterior temporal cortex during retrieval of initially studied pairs relative to newly studied pairs. The greater activity during retrieval of older memory developed in the temporal neocortex provides direct evidence of formation of temporal neocortical representation for stable long-term memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10335-10340
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug 19
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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