Volume of the human septal forebrain region is a predictor of source memory accuracy

Tracy Butler, Karen Blackmon, Laszlo Zaborszky, Xiuyuan Wang, Jonathan Dubois, Chad Carlson, William B. Barr, Jacqueline French, Orrin Devinsky, Ruben Kuzniecky, Eric Halgren, Thomas Thesen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Basal forebrain
  • Episodic memory CVLT
  • MRI
  • Morphometry
  • Parahippocampal gyrus
  • Septal nuclei


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