Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 143–157

Lateral and medial prefrontal contributions to emotion generation by semantic elaboration during episodic encoding


DOI: 10.3758/s13415-016-0468-6

Cite this article as:
Kaneda, T., Shigemune, Y. & Tsukiura, T. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci (2017) 17: 143. doi:10.3758/s13415-016-0468-6


Memories for emotion-laden stimuli are remembered more accurately than those for neutral stimuli. Although this enhancement reflects stimulus-driven modulation of memory by emotions, functional neuroimaging evidence of the interacting mechanisms between emotions generated by intentional processes, such as semantic elaboration, and memory is scarce. The present fMRI study investigated how encoding-related activation is modulated by emotions generated during the process of semantic elaboration. During encoding with fMRI, healthy young adults viewed neutral (target) pictures either passively or with semantic elaboration. In semantic elaboration, participants imagined background stories related to the pictures. Encoding trials with semantic elaboration were subdivided into conditions in which participants imagined negative, positive, or neutral stories. One week later, memories for target pictures were tested. In behavioral results, memories for target pictures were significantly enhanced by semantic elaboration, compared to passive viewing, and the memory enhancement was more remarkable when negative or positive stories were imagined. fMRI results demonstrated that activations in the left inferior frontal gyrus and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) were greater during the encoding of target pictures with semantic elaboration than those with passive viewing, and that these activations further increased during encoding with semantic elaboration of emotional stories than of neutral stories. Functional connectivity between the left inferior frontal gyrus and dmPFC/hippocampus during encoding significantly predicted retrieval accuracies of memories encoded with self-generated emotional stories. These findings suggest that networks including the left inferior frontal region, dmPFC, and hippocampus could contribute to the modulation of memories encoded with the emotion generation.


fMRI Emotion Episodic memory Hippocampus Prefrontal cortex Semantics 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
  • KAKENHI 25245069
Naito Foundation
    Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (CSTP)
    • NEXT program (LZ001)

    Copyright information

    © Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2016

    Authors and Affiliations

    • Takumi Kaneda
      • 1
    • Yayoi Shigemune
      • 1
    • Takashi Tsukiura
      • 1
    1. 1.Department of Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Human and Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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