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Callosal Window Between Prefrontal Cortices: Cognitive Interaction to Retrieve Long-Term Memory

Science  07 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5378, pp. 814-818
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5378.814

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Abstract

A perceptual image can be recalled from memory without sensory stimulation. However, the neural origin of memory retrieval remains unsettled. To examine whether memory retrieval can be regulated by top-down processes originating from the prefrontal cortex, a visual associative memory task was introduced into the partial split-brain paradigm in monkeys. Long-term memory acquired through stimulus-stimulus association did not transfer via the anterior corpus callosum, a key part interconnecting prefrontal cortices. Nonetheless, when a visual cue was presented to one hemisphere, the anterior callosum could instruct the other hemisphere to retrieve the correct stimulus specified by the cue. Thus, although visual long-term memory is stored in the temporal cortex, memory retrieval is under the executive control of the prefrontal cortex.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: hasegawa{at}m.u-tokyo.ac.jp

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