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Stimulation of the right entorhinal white matter enhances visual memory encoding in humans.

  • Author(s): Mankin, Emily A
  • Aghajan, Zahra M
  • Schuette, Peter
  • Tran, Michelle E
  • Tchemodanov, Natalia
  • Titiz, Ali
  • Kalender, Güldamla
  • Eliashiv, Dawn
  • Stern, John
  • Weiss, Shennan A
  • Kirsch, Dylan
  • Knowlton, Barbara
  • Fried, Itzhak
  • Suthana, Nanthia
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

While deep brain stimulation has been successful in treating movement disorders, such as in Parkinson's disease, its potential application in alleviating memory disorders is inconclusive.

Objective/hypothesis

We investigated the role of the location of the stimulating electrode on memory improvement and hypothesized that entorhinal white versus gray matter stimulation would have differential effects on memory.

Methods

Intracranial electrical stimulation was applied to the entorhinal area of twenty-two participants with already implanted electrodes as they completed visual memory tasks.

Results

We found that stimulation of right entorhinal white matter during learning had a beneficial effect on subsequent memory, while stimulation of adjacent gray matter or left-sided stimulation was ineffective. This finding was consistent across three different visually guided memory tasks.

Conclusions

Our results highlight the importance of precise stimulation site on modulation of human hippocampal-dependent memory and suggest that stimulation of afferent input into the right hippocampus may be an especially promising target for enhancement of visual memory.

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