Skip to main content Accessibility help

Volume of the Human Septal Forebrain Region Is a Predictor of Source Memory Accuracy

  • Tracy Butler (a1), Karen Blackmon (a1), Laszlo Zaborszky (a2), Xiuyuan Wang (a1), Jonathan DuBois (a1), Chad Carlson (a1), William B. Barr (a1), Jacqueline French (a1), Orrin Devinsky (a1), Ruben Kuzniecky (a1), Eric Halgren (a3) and Thomas Thesen (a1) (a3)...

Septal nuclei, components of basal forebrain, are strongly and reciprocally connected with hippocampus, and have been shown in animals to play a critical role in memory. In humans, the septal forebrain has received little attention. To examine the role of human septal forebrain in memory, we acquired high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scans from 25 healthy subjects and calculated septal forebrain volume using recently developed probabilistic cytoarchitectonic maps. We indexed memory with the California Verbal Learning Test-II. Linear regression showed that bilateral septal forebrain volume was a significant positive predictor of recognition memory accuracy. More specifically, larger septal forebrain volume was associated with the ability to recall item source/context accuracy. Results indicate specific involvement of septal forebrain in human source memory, and recall the need for additional research into the role of septal nuclei in memory and other impairments associated with human diseases. (JINS, 2012, 18, 157–161)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Tracy Butler, NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Department of Neurology, 223 East 34th Street New York, New York 10016. E-mail:
Hide All
Alexander, M.P., Freedman, M. (1984). Amnesia after anterior communicating artery aneurysm rupture. Neurology, 34(6), 752757.
Ashburner, J. (2007). A fast diffeomorphic image registration algorithm. Neuroimage, 38(1), 95113.
Caplan, J.B., McIntosh, A.R., De Rosa, E. (2007). Two distinct functional networks for successful resolution of proactive interference. Cerebral Cortex, 17(7), 16501663.
Colom, L.V., Garrido-Sanabria, E. (2007). Modulation of normal and altered hippocampal excitability states by septal networks. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 85(13), 28392843.
De Rosa, E., Desmond, J.E., Anderson, A.K., Pfefferbaum, A., Sullivan, E.V. (2004). The human basal forebrain integrates the old and the new. Neuron, 41(5), 825837.
Delis, D., Kramer, J., Kaplan, E., Ober, B. (2000). California Verbal Learning Test: Second edition. Adult version. Manual. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.
Draganski, B., Gaser, C., Kempermann, G., Kuhn, H.G., Winkler, J., Buchel, C., May, A. (2006). Temporal and spatial dynamics of brain structure changes during extensive learning. The Journal of Neuroscience, 26(23), 63146317.
Fine, E.M., Delis, D.C., Wetter, S.R., Jacobson, M.W., Hamilton, J.M., Peavy, G., Salmon, D. (2008). Identifying the “source” of recognition memory deficits in patients with Huntington's disease or Alzheimer's disease: Evidence from the CVLT-II. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 30(4), 463470.
Fujii, T., Okuda, J., Tsukiura, T., Ohtake, H., Miura, R., Fukatsu, R., Yamadori, I. (2002). The role of the basal forebrain in episodic memory retrieval: A positron emission tomography study. Neuroimage, 15(3), 501508.
Grothe, M., Zaborszky, L., Atienza, M., Gil-Neciga, E., Rodriguez-Romero, R., Teipel, S.J., Cantero, J.L. (2010). Reduction of basal forebrain cholinergic system parallels cognitive impairment in patients at high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Cerebral Cortex, 20(7), 16851695.
Heath, R.G. (2005). Common characteristics of epilepsy and schizophrenia: Clinical observation and depth electrode studies. 1961. Epilepsy & Behavior, 6(4), 633645.
Huerta, P.T., Lisman, J.E. (1993). Heightened synaptic plasticity of hippocampal CA1 neurons during a cholinergically induced rhythmic state. Nature, 364(6439), 723725.
Jernigan, T.L., Ostergaard, A.L., Fennema-Notestine, C. (2001). Mesial temporal, diencephalic, and striatal contributions to deficits in single word reading, word priming, and recognition memory. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 7(1), 6378.
Johnson, M.K., Hashtroudi, S., Lindsay, D.S. (1993). Source monitoring. Psychological Bulletin, 114(1), 328.
Kanai, R., Rees, G. (2011). The structural basis of inter-individual differences in human behaviour and cognition. Nature Review Neuroscience, 12(4), 231242.
Kaplan, E., Goodglass, H., Weintraub, S. (1983). The Boston Naming Test. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger.
Mai, J., Assheuer, J., Paxinos, G. (2004). Atlas of the human brain. Boston: Elsevier Academic Press.
Mesulam, M.M., Mufson, E.J., Wainer, B.H., Levey, A.I. (1983). Central cholinergic pathways in the rat: An overview based on an alternative nomenclature (Ch1-Ch6). Neuroscience, 10(4), 11851201.
Van Petten, C. (2004). Relationship between hippocampal volume and memory ability in healthy individuals across the lifespan: Review and meta-analysis. Neuropsychologia, 42(10), 13941413.
Zaborszky, L., Hoemke, L., Mohlberg, H., Schleicher, A., Amunts, K., Zilles, K. (2008). Stereotaxic probabilistic maps of the magnocellular cell groups in human basal forebrain. Neuroimage, 42(3), 11271141.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-international-neuropsychological-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Type Description Title
Supplementary Table

Butler Supplementary Table
Supplementary Table 1. Neuropsychological test data for California Verbal Learning Test-II and Boston Naming Test

 PDF (10 KB)
10 KB


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed