To investigate the neural systems that contribute to the formation of complex, self-relevant emotional memories, dedicated fans of rival college basketball teams watched a competitive game while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). During a subsequent recognition memory task, participants were shown video clips depicting plays of the game, stemming either from previously-viewed game segments (targets) or from non-viewed portions of the same game (foils). After an old–new judgment, participants provided emotional valence and intensity ratings of the clips. A data driven approach was fi rst used to decompose the fMRI signal acquired during free viewing of the game into spatially independent components. Correlations were then calculated between the identifi ed components and post-scanning emotion ratings for successfully encoded targets. Two components were correlated with intensity ratings, including temporal lobe regions implicated in memory and emotional functions, such as the hippocampus and amygdala, as well as a midline fronto-cingulo-parietal network implicated in social cognition and self-relevant processing. These data were supported by a general linear model analysis, which revealed additional valence effects in fronto-striatal-insular regions when plays were divided into positive and negative events according to the fan’s perspective. Overall, these fi ndings contribute to our understanding of how emotional factors impact distributed neural systems to successfully encode dynamic, personally-relevant event sequences.
Botzung, A. (2010). Component neural systems for the creation of emotional memories during free viewing of a complex, real-world event. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2010.00034