All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Roy C Martin

Advisory Committee Members

Edwin W Cook

Rajesh K Kana

Matthew D Thompson

Lawrence W Ver Hoef

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2018

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Hippocampal dentation is a morphological feature present on the inferior surface of the human hippocampus, most clearly visible in the sagittal view in structural neuroimaging. This dissertation examines the development of hippocampal dentation during childhood and adolescence, as well as its functional relationship with episodic memory performance. Our previous work in examining hippocampal dentation in healthy adults represented the first systematic description as well as the first indication of functional significance of this feature (i.e., both verbal and visual memory performance). In this new series of studies, two large, NIH-funded databases were utilized to examine this feature in samples of healthy children and adolescents, birth to 18 years. Samples varied in scan resolution and verbal memory measure utilized (i.e., Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning – Second Edition, Verbal Learning and Story Memory; California Verbal Learning Test – Children’s Version). As a recently described morphological feature, research is limited into features and prevalence of hippocampal dentation in healthy individuals. Dentation is known to be variable in healthy adults; the present work examines development of dentation in pediatric samples. We hypothesized that hippocampal dentation would be positively associated with age as well as verbal episodic memory performance in healthy children and adolescents. Potential implications of this research include a possible novel biomarker of memory impairment and/or impaired memory development.

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