Semantic strategy training increases memory performance and brain activity in patients with prefrontal cortex lesions

Eliane C. Miotto, Cary R. Savage, Jonathan J. Evans, Barbara A. Wilson, Maria G.M. Martin, Joana B. Balardin, Fabio G. Barros, Griselda Garrido, Manoel J. Teixeira, Edson Amaro Junior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective: Memory deficit is a frequent cognitive disorder following acquired prefrontal cortex lesions. In the present study, we investigated the brain correlates of a short semantic strategy training and memory performance of patients with distinct prefrontal cortex lesions using fMRI and cognitive tests. Methods: Twenty-one adult patients with post-acute prefrontal cortex (PFC) lesions, twelve with left dorsolateral PFC (LPFC) and nine with bilateral orbitofrontal cortex (BOFC) were assessed before and after a short cognitive semantic training using a verbal memory encoding paradigm during scanning and neuropsychological tests outside the scanner. Results: After the semantic strategy training both groups of patients showed significant behavioral improvement in verbal memory recall and use of semantic strategies. In the LPFC group, greater activity in left inferior and medial frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus and insula was found after training. For the BOFC group, a greater activation was found in the left parietal cortex, right cingulated and precuneus after training. Conclusion: The activation of these specific areas in the memory and executive networks following cognitive training was associated to compensatory brain mechanisms and application of the semantic strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-316
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Memory
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Semantic training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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