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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Noa Ofen

Abstract

The medial temporal lobe (MTL) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) are two key brain regions that support episodic memory formation in both children and adults, but the functional developmental of these regions remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the development of neural correlates of episodic memory formation using functional MRI with a subsequent memory paradigm, administered to a cross-sectional sample of 83 children and adults. We found that MTL subregions showed an age-related increase in activation supporting memory formation of complex scenes. In addition, a functionally defined scene-sensitive region in the posterior MTL also showed similar increase and predicted better memory for complex scenes. Within the PFC we found age-related increase in both activation and deactivation that support memory formation. Finally, we found age-related increase in the functional connectivity between dorsal lateral PFC and posterior MTL regions. Taken together, these findings suggest that the continued functional development of the MTL and the PFC is crucial for age-related improvements in memory.

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