Authors: Shigemune Y., Tsukiura T., Nouchi R., Kambara T., Kawashima R.

Title: Neural mechanisms underlying the reward-related enhancement of motivation when remembering episodic memories with high difficulty

Journal(書誌情報): Human Brain Mapping, 38(7), 3428-3443, 2017

doi: 10.1002/hbm.23599



The motivation to receive rewards enhances episodic memories, and the motivation is modulated by task difficulty. In episodic retrieval, however, functional neuroimaging evidence regarding the motivation that mediates interactions between reward and task difficulty is scarce. The present fMRI study investigated this issue. During encoding performed without fMRI, participants encoded Japanese words using either deep or shallow strategies, which led to variation in difficulty level during subsequent retrieval. During retrieval with fMRI, participants recognized the target words in either high or low monetary reward conditions. In the behavioral results, a reward-related enhancement of memory was found only when the memory retrieval was difficult, and the rewarding effect on subjective motivation was greater in the retrieval of memories with high difficulty than those with low difficulty. The fMRI data showed that reward-related increases in the activation of the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA), medial temporal lobe (MTL), dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) were greater during the retrieval of memories with high difficulty than those with low difficulty. Furthermore, reward-related enhancement of functional connectivity between the SN/VTA and MTL and between the SN/VTA and dmPFC during the retrieval of memories with high difficulty was significantly correlated with reward-related increases of retrieval accuracy and subjective motivation. The reward-related enhancement of episodic retrieval and retrieval-related motivation could be most effective when the level of retrieval difficulty is optimized. Such reward-related enhancement of memory and motivation could be modulated by a network including the reward-related SN/VTA, motivation-related dmPFC, and memory-related MTL.

著者Contact先の email: gemune{at}, tsukiura.takashi.6c{at}

Authors: Yamawaki R., Nakamura K., Aso T., Shigemune Y., Fukuyama H., Tsukiura T.

Title: Remembering my friends: Medial prefrontal and hippocampal contributions to the self-reference effect on face memories in a social context

Journal(書誌情報): Human Brain Mapping, 38(8), 4256-4269, 2017

doi: 10.1002/hbm.23662



Memories associated with the self are remembered more accurately than those associated with others. The memory enhancement related to the self is known as the self-reference effect (SRE). However, little is known regarding the neural mechanisms underlying the SRE in a social context modulated by social relationships. In the present fMRI study, we investigated encoding-related activation of face memories encoded with the self-referential process in a social context that was manipulated by imagining a person-to-person relationship. Healthy young adults participated in the present study. During encoding, participants encoded unfamiliar target faces by imagining a future friendship with themselves (Self), their friends (Friend), or strangers (Other). During retrieval, participants were presented with target and distracter faces one by one, and they judged whether each face had been previously learned. In the behavioral results, target faces encoded in the Self condition were remembered more accurately than those encoded in the Other condition. fMRI results demonstrated that encoding-related activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) was significantly greater in the Self condition than in the Friend or Other conditions. In addition, the generalized psycho-physiological interaction (gPPI) analysis showed that functional connectivity between activation in the hippocampus and the cortical midline structures (CMSs), including the mPFC and precuneus, was significant in the Self but not in the Other condition. These findings suggest that the SRE in a social context could be involved in the interaction between the CMS regions, which are related to the self-referential process, and the hippocampus related to the memory process.

著者Contact先の email: yamawaki{at}, tsukiura.takashi.6c{at}