Rey's Auditory Verbal Learning Test scores can be predicted from whole brain MRI in Alzheimer's disease
Understanding human episodic memory in aspects of large-scale brain networks has become one of the central themes in neuroscience over the last decade. Traditionally, episodic memory was regarded as mostly relying on medial temporal lobe (MTL) structures. However, recent studies have suggested involvement of more widely distributed cortical network and the importance of its interactive roles in the memory process. Both direct and indirect neuro-modulations of the memory network have been tried in experimental treatments of memory disorders. In this review, we focus on the functional organization of the MTL and other neocortical areas in episodic memory. Task-related neuroimaging studies together with lesion studies suggested that specific sub-regions of the MTL are responsible for specific components of memory. However, recent studies have emphasized that connectivity within MTL structures and even their network dynamics with other cortical areas are essential in the memory process. Resting-state functional network studies also have revealed that memory function is subserved by not only the MTL system but also a distributed network, particularly the default-mode network (DMN). Furthermore, researchers have begun to investigate memory networks throughout the entire brain not restricted to the specific resting-state network (RSN). Altered patterns of functional connectivity (FC) among distributed brain regions were observed in patients with memory impairments. Recently, studies have shown that brain stimulation may impact memory through modulating functional networks, carrying future implications of a novel interventional therapy for memory impairment.