We measured brain activity using magnetoencephalography in five participants during ongoing tasks that included prospective memory, retrospective memory, and oddball trials. Sources were identified in the hippocampal formation and posterior parietal and frontal lobes. Posterior parietal cortex activation had an earlier onset in the prospective memory condition than retrospective memory or oddball conditions, a higher level of theta activity in the retrospective condition, and higher levels of upper alpha in the prospective and oddball conditions. Activation of the hippocampal formation had a longer duration in the retrospective memory and prospective memory conditions than the oddball condition, but prominent alpha and theta band activity was present in all three conditions. We interpret the early (87 ms) onset of activity in parietal cortex as evidence for an initial noticing of appropriate conditions for a PM response. Hippocampal activity may reflect a subsequent memory search for the intended action.
- Prospective memory
- Retrospective memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Physiology (medical)