The person within: Memory codes for persons and traits using fMRI repetition suppression

  • Heleven E
  • Van Overwalle F
  • 27


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 9


    Citations of this article.


Neuroimaging studies on trait inference demonstrated that the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) houses neural representations of memory codes for traits . In this study, we investigate the neural code not only of traits, but also of persons who exemplify these traits. We used repetition suppression, which is a rapid suppression of the neuroimaging signal upon repeated presentation of the same stimulus or core stimulus characteristics-in this case, the implied trait and person. Participants inferred familiar person's traits. At each trial, a critical (target) sentence described a behavior that implied a trait, and was preceded by a (prime) sentence that implied the same trait and portrayed the same person, the same trait but portrayed a different person or did not imply a trait and portrayed a different person. As predicted, we found partly overlapping repetition suppression areas in the ventral mPFC when persons and traits were repeated, indicating that not only traits but also familiar persons have a neural code in the ventral mPFC. We also found a negative correlation between activation when reading about a new person and participants' social network size, indicating that experience with larger social groups results in less recruitment of a person code.

Author-supplied keywords

  • FMRI repetition suppression
  • Person memory code
  • Trait memory code

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free