Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 234, Issue 1, pp 95–104 | Cite as

Medial temporal lobe activity associated with the successful retrieval of destination memory

  • Shunji Mugikura
  • Nobuhito Abe
  • Ayahito Ito
  • Iori Kawasaki
  • Aya Ueno
  • Shoki Takahashi
  • Toshikatsu FujiiEmail author
Research Article


Destination memory is the process of remembering to whom we tell particular things. Although recent behavioral studies have clarified the cognitive nature of destination memory, the neural mechanisms underlying destination memory retrieval remain unclear. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine whether the medial temporal lobe (MTL), a structure that has been implicated in recollection-based memory, is activated during the successful retrieval of destination information. During a study phase before fMRI scanning, the subjects told a series of facts to either a woman or a man. During fMRI scanning, the subjects were asked to judge whether each fact presented was old or new, and if they judged it as old, to indicate, including a confidence rating (high or low), whether the subjects had told that fact to either a man or a woman. We found that successful destination retrieval, when compared to failed destination retrieval, was associated with increased activity in the parahippocampal gyrus. We also found that the confidence level (high vs. low) for destination memory retrieval was associated with increased activity in another (posterior) region of the parahippocampal gyrus. The present study suggests that the successful retrieval of destination information depends highly on MTL-mediated recollection processes.


Episodic memory fMRI Parahippocampal gyrus Recognition Recollection 



We are grateful to Kazuomi Yamanaka, Hironobu Sasaki, Yohei Inaba, Tomoyoshi Kimura, and Tatsuo Nagasaka for their assistance in collecting the data. We also thank Risa Hanaki for providing the stimuli. This study was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) #24300102 (to T.F.) and a Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research #26560463 (to T.F.) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Nobuhito Abe was supported by The Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shunji Mugikura
    • 1
  • Nobuhito Abe
    • 2
  • Ayahito Ito
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Iori Kawasaki
    • 3
  • Aya Ueno
    • 4
    • 5
  • Shoki Takahashi
    • 1
  • Toshikatsu Fujii
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic RadiologyTohoku University Graduate School of MedicineSendaiJapan
  2. 2.Kokoro Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Behavioral Neurology and Cognitive NeuroscienceTohoku University Graduate School of MedicineSendaiJapan
  4. 4.Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)TokyoJapan
  5. 5.Division of Systems NeuroscienceTohoku University Graduate School of Life SciencesSendaiJapan
  6. 6.Kansei Fukushi Research InstituteTohoku Fukushi UniversitySendaiJapan

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