Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society

Brief Communications

Volume of the Human Septal Forebrain Region Is a Predictor of Source Memory Accuracy

Tracy Butlera1 c1, Karen Blackmona1, Laszlo Zaborszkya2, Xiuyuan Wanga1, Jonathan DuBoisa1, Chad Carlsona1, William B. Barra1, Jacqueline Frencha1, Orrin Devinskya1, Ruben Kuznieckya1, Eric Halgrena3 and Thomas Thesena1a3

a1 Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Department of Neurology, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York

a2 Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey

a3 Multimodal Imaging Laboratory, University of California, San Diego, California


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. (JINS, 2012, 18, 157–161)

(Received June 29 2011)

(Revised September 14 2011)

(Accepted September 15 2011)


c1 Correspondence and reprint requests to: Tracy Butler, NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Department of Neurology, 223 East 34th Street New York, New York 10016. E-mail: