Parietal activity in episodic retrieval measured by fMRI and MEG.
ABSTRACT: Understanding the functional role of the left lateral parietal cortex in episodic retrieval requires characterization of both spatial and temporal features of activity during memory tasks. In a recent study using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we described an early parietal response in a cued-recall task. This response began within 100 milliseconds (ms) of the retrieval cue and lasted less than 400 ms. Spatially, the effect reached significance in all three anatomically defined left lateral parietal subregions included in the study. Here we present a multimodal analysis of both hemodynamic and electrophysiologic responses in the same cued-recall paradigm. Functional MRI (fMRI) was used to more precisely reveal the portion of the parietal cortex with the greatest response. The MEG data set was then reanalyzed to show the early MEG time course of the region identified by fMRI. We found that the hemodynamic response is greatest within the intraparietal sulcus. Further, the MEG pattern in this region shows a strong response during the first 300 ms following the cue to retrieve. Finally, when individual-dipole MEG activity is analyzed for the left cortical surface over the early 300-millisecond time window, significant recall-related activity is limited to a relatively small portion of the left hemisphere that overlaps the region identified by fMRI in the intraparietal sulcus.