Distinct multivariate structural brain profiles are related to variations in short- and long-delay memory consolidation across children and young adults

Iryna Schommartz, Philip F. Lembcke, Francesco Pupillo, Henriette Schuetz, Nina Wald de Chamorro, Martin Bauer, Angela M. Kaindl, Claudia Buss, Yee Lee Shing

From early to middle childhood, brain regions that underlie memory consolidation undergo profound maturational changes. However, there is little empirical investigation that directly relates age-related differences in brain structural measures to memory consolidation processes. The present study examined memory consolidation of intentionally studied object-location associations after one night of sleep (short delay) and after two weeks (long delay) in normally developing 5-to-7-year-old children (n = 50) and young adults (n = 39). Behavioural differences in memory retention rate were related to structural brain measures. Our results showed that children, in comparison to young adults, retained correctly learnt object-location associations less robustly over short and long delay. Moreover, using partial least squares correlation method, a unique multivariate profile comprised of specific neocortical (prefrontal, parietal, and occipital), cerebellar, and hippocampal head and subfield structures in the body was found to be associated with variation in short-delay memory retention. A different multivariate profile comprised of a reduced set of brain structures, mainly consisting of neocortical (prefrontal, parietal, and occipital), hippocampal head, and selective hippocampal subfield structures (CA1–2 and subiculum) was associated with variation in long-delay memory retention. Taken together, the results suggest that multivariate structural pattern of unique sets of brain regions are related to variations in short- and long-delay memory consolidation across children and young adults.

Dev Cogn Neurosci. 59: 101192 (2023)


episodicmemory consolidationneocortexobject-scene associationpartial least square correlationprefrontal cortex
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