December 2022
Volume 22, Issue 14
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2022
Neural basis of remembering details of a social versus non-social scene shown in a naturalistic movie
Author Affiliations
  • Haemy Lee Masson
    Johns Hopkins University
  • Lucy Chang
    Johns Hopkins University
  • Leyla Isik
    Johns Hopkins University
Journal of Vision December 2022, Vol.22, 3607. doi:
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      Haemy Lee Masson, Lucy Chang, Leyla Isik; Neural basis of remembering details of a social versus non-social scene shown in a naturalistic movie. Journal of Vision 2022;22(14):3607.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Social episodic memory is a key to social functioning. However, the neural basis supporting this ability is underexplored. We investigated how social and non-social scenes are differently represented in the brain regions during active free recall after watching a naturalistic movie stimulus. To this end, we analyzed publicly available fMRI data from 14 participants freely recalling scenes in the scanner after viewing the first episode of the Sherlock BBC series. We also annotated transcripts from the participant’s recall regarding a scene involving social interaction and an object. During the free recall task, on average, participants spent more than half of their time describing details of social interaction scenes and a third of their time describing scenes involving objects. fMRI results revealed that the temporoparietal junction showed increased brain activity when participants talked about remembered social interaction scenes. In contrast, the posterior parietal area showed increased activity during the recall of scenes involving objects. Our findings highlight that two separate systems may be responsible for social and non-social episodic memory. In our previous study, we implemented an encoding model to the same fMRI data from participants viewing the movie Sherlock and showed functional selectivity to social interaction perception in the superior temporal sulcus. In the future, we aim to use this encoding model to examine shared social signature across perception and recall.


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