Mapping the brain pathways of declarative verbal memory: Evidence from white matter lesions in the living human brain

Jorge Sepulcre, Joseph C. Masdeu, Jaume Sastre-Garriga, Joaquín Goñi, Nieves Vélez-de-Mendizábal, Beatriz Duque, Maria A. Pastor, Bartolomé Bejarano, Pablo Villoslada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Understanding the contribution of the brain white matter pathways to declarative verbal memory processes has been hindered by the lack of an adequate model in humans. An attractive and underexplored approach to study white matter region functionality in the living human brain is through the use of non-aprioristic models which specifically search disrupted white matter pathways. For this purpose, we employed voxel-based lesion-function mapping to correlate white matter lesions on the magnetic resonance images of 46 multiple sclerosis patients with their performance on declarative verbal memory storage and retrieval. White matter correlating with storage was in the temporal lobe-particularly lateral to the hippocampus and in the anterior temporal stem-, in the thalamic region and in the anterior limb of the internal capsule, all on the left hemisphere, and also in the right anterior temporal stem. The same volumes were relevant for retrieval, but to them were added temporo-parieto-frontal paramedian bundles, particularly the cingulum and the fronto-occipital fasciculus. These 3D maps indicate the white matter regions most critically involved in declarative verbal memory in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1237-1243
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Brain pathway
  • Human cognition
  • Lesion probability map
  • Verbal declarative memory
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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