Levels of processing: A view from functional brain imaging
This paper briefly reviews two central assumptions of the levels-of-processing framework in the light of findings from recent PET and fMRI studies: First, to address the suggestion that memory traces can be seen as records of analyses carried out for the purposes of perception and comprehension, studies on encoding–retrieval overlap in brain activation patterns are considered. Second, to address the suggestion that deeper, more semantic, processing results in more durable traces, studies of how encoding activity relates to processing depth and subsequent memory performance are examined. The results show that some of the sensory regions that are activated during initial perception are subsequently reactivated during retrieval, and activity in frontal and medial-temporal brain regions is related to depth of processing and level of memory performance. Collectively, these results provide support for central components of the levels framework.
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