Minamoto, T., Osaka, M., Engle, R. W., & Osaka, N.


Incidental encoding of goal-irrelevant information is associated with

insufficient engagement of the dorsal frontal cortex and the inferior

parietal cortex.


Brain Research





Previous studies have shown that goal-irrelevant distractors are

incidentally encoded into long-term memory. Neuroimaging studies have

suggested that the medial temporal and visual association regions are

involved in incidental encoding of goal-irrelevant information. However,

few studies have investigated prefrontal/parietal influence during the

incidental encoding. The present study performed whole brain analysis to

identify the brain regions involved in the incidental encoding of

goal-irrelevant information. A face working memory (WM) task was

administered with insertion of face distractors during the delay period.

Following the WM task, a surprise recognition task was given in an MRI

scanner. Recognition rate of distractors was higher than that of novel

fillers. Recognition time was also faster in distractors than in novel

fillers. Neuroimaging results showed less activation to distractors

subsequently remembered than those forgotten in the middle and superior

frontal regions and the lateral inferior parietal lobe including the

angular gyrus and the temporoparietal regions. However, the left

anterior hippocampus and the right fusiform gyrus showed greater

activation to distractors subsequently remembered. Those findings

suggest that insufficient engagement of the dorsal frontal cortex which

regulates attentional control and the inferior parietal lobe which

functions to reorient attention may allow goal-irrelevant information

access to working memory and to be encoded into long-term memory.

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