|Description||Comparison of three different types of long-term memory retrieval (autobiographical, laboratory-episodic, semantic) in children (aged 10-12), adolescents (aged 14-16), and adults (aged 20-35).
Fynes-Clinton, S., Marstaller, L., Burianová, H. (2019). Differentiation of functional networks during long-term memory retrieval in children and adolescents. NeuroImage, 191, 93-103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.01.065
The processes that characterize the neural development of long-term memory (LTM) are largely unknown. In young adults, the degree of activation of a single large-scale memory network corresponds to the level of contextual detail involved; thus, differentiating between autobiographical, episodic, and semantic retrieval. In contrast to young adults, children and adolescents retrieve fewer contextual details, suggesting that they might not yet engage the entire memory circuitry and that this brain recruitment might lack the characteristic contextual differentiation found in adults. Twenty-one children (10–12 years of age), 20 adolescents (14–16 years of age), and 22 young adults (20–35 years of age) were assessed on a previously validated LTM retrieval task, while their brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results demonstrate that children, adolescents, and adults recruit a left-lateralized subset of the large-scale memory network, comprising semantic and language processing regions, with neither developmental group showing evidence of contextual differentiation within this network. Additionally, children and adolescents recruited occipital and parietal regions during all memory recall conditions, in contrast to adults who engaged the entire large-scale memory network, as described previously. Finally, a significant covariance between age and brain activation indicates that the reliance on occipital and parietal regions during memory retrieval decreases with age. These results suggest that both children and adolescents rely on semantic processing to retrieve long-term memories, which, we argue, may restrict the integration of contextual detail required for complex episodic and autobiographical memory retrieval.|