The more you know: Investigating why adults get a bigger memory boost from semantic congruency than children

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Wei-Chun WangSilvia A Bunge


Humans possess the capacity to employ prior knowledge in the service of our ability to remember; thus, memory is oftentimes superior for information that is semantically congruent with our prior knowledge. This congruency benefit grows during development, but little is understood about neurodevelopmental differences that underlie this growth. Here, we sought to explore the brain mechanisms underlying these phenomena. To this end, we examined the neural substrates of semantically congruent vs. incongruent item-context associations in 116 children and 25 young adults who performed encoding and retrieval tasks during functional MRI data collection. Participants encoded item-context pairs by judging whether or not an item belonged in a scene. Episodic memory was then tested with a source memory task. Consistent with prior work, source memory accuracy improved with age, and was greater for congruent than incongruent pairs; further, this congruency benefit was greater in adults than children. Age-related differences were observed across univariate, functional connectivity, and multivariate analyses, particularly in lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). In sum, our results revealed two general age differences. First, left ventrolateral/ros...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Prefrontal Cortex
Lateral to the Right
Memory, Episodic
Univariate Analysis
Brain Region
Neurodevelopmental Disorders

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