Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice

Adult brain activation during visual learning and memory tasks. An experimental approach to translational neuroscience

Journal Article

  • Author(s): Ferihan Popova, Antoaneta Kovacheva, Petar Garov, Stefan Sivkov, Sevdalina Kandilarova, Nickolay Sirakov, Magdalena Stoeva, Kichka G. Velkova
  • Article first published online: 23 Mar 2018
  • DOI: 10.1111/jep.12911
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Rationale, aims, and objectives

Human brain connectome is a new and rapidly developing field in neuroscience. The pattern of structural and functional connectivity in the brain is not fixed but is continuously changing in response to experiences. Exploring these phenomena opens a powerful arsenal of analyses and computational approaches that could provide important new insights into clinical and cognitive neuroscience.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the activations of adult brain cortical areas during a memory task performance by using functional MRI with a specific focus on gender differences.


Twenty‐nine right‐handed subjects (15 men and 14 women) were scanned. The memory paradigm consisted of 4 consecutive sets of “on” and “off” blocks with a total duration of 4 minutes. The subjects were first presented with 4 pictures (fixation F‐part) of the same theme—landscapes, portraits, anatomical images of internal organs, and geometric figures denoted by specific mismatching nouns (seasons, personal names, internal organs, and figures), followed by 3 of the presented pictures and questions for memory evaluation (recall R‐part). For the active conditions, the participants were instructed to read the statements carefully and answer with a button press.


We found reliable occipital and temporal signal responses across the block design contrasts with statistical significant differences within the groups in both genders. Statistical significance in brain cortical activation was not found between men and women.


The results highlighted several detailed distinctions between the genders and potential future directions in brain activation studies as part of the multidisciplinary approach in translational neuroscience.

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