Verbal memory processing and fMRI
Brown, Courtney Lee
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This thesis examined semantic and syntactic components of verbal encoding in young adults. Participants were asked to judge phrases based on semantic and syntactic information. Recognition and recall tasks measured retention of words encoded using each strategy. FMRI BOLD signal was evaluated in predicted language regions of interest during verbal encoding and the correlation with behavioral data was examined. Results showed increased activation for semantically encoded words within the left (Brodmann’s Area (BA) 21, BA 37, BA 45, and BA 47) and right hemisphere (BA 46). Significant activation was found within left BA 44 and BA 46 for semantic and syntactically encoded words. Correlations between fMRI activation and behavioral measures were not significant. Semantic processes appear to facilitate memory over syntactic processing in accordance with the levels of processing memory model (Craik & Lockhart, 1972) but no significant changes in fMRI activation correlate with rate of memory recall.