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Brain scans during picture viewing

Research Achievements

Brain scans during picture viewing

In Psychology student Chris Paynter's IGERT project, subjects study pictures of common items while their brains are being scanned. Some items have two distinct examples, while others use the same image twice. Outside the scanner, subjects are asked to judge whether they recognize a series of images as familiar (first memory), and if so, whether that image had been seen more than once (second memory). Paynter found attenuation of activity in the fusiform gyrus correlated with the subsequent familiarity judgment, but only when the image had been repeated. Activation changes in other areas, including precuneus, anterior prefrontal cortex, and cingulate cortex were found to correlate with memory of whether the two examples of an item were the same or different. These findings support Paynter's hypothesis that item memory and source memory are handled by distinct neural mechanisms.