Oct 28, 2017

Neural activation patterns during retrieval of schema-related memories: differences and commonalities between children and adults

Developmental Science
Garvin BrodYee Lee Shing


Schemas represent stable properties of individuals' experiences, and allow them to classify new events as being congruent or incongruent with existing knowledge. Research with adults indicates that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in memory retrieval of schema-related information. However, developmental differences between children and adults in the neural correlates of schema-related memories are not well understood. One reason for this is the inherent confound between schema-relevant experience and maturation, as both are related to time. To overcome this limitation, we used a novel paradigm that experimentally induces, and then probes for, task-relevant knowledge during encoding of new information. Thirty-one children aged 8-12 years and 26 young adults participated in the experiment. While successfully retrieving schema-congruent events, children showed less medial PFC activity than adults. In addition, medial PFC activity during successful retrieval correlated positively with children's age. While successfully retrieving schema-incongruent events, children showed stronger hippocampus (HC) activation as well as weaker connectivity between the striatum and the dorsolateral PFC than adults. These findings were corrobor...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

MRNA Maturation
Prefrontal Cortex
Reaction Time
Memory Training
Memory, Episodic

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