Consolidation of complex events via reinstatement in posterior cingulate cortex

Bird, Chris M, Keidel, James L, Ing, Leslie P, Horner, Aidan J and Burgess, Neil (2015) Consolidation of complex events via reinstatement in posterior cingulate cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 35 (43). pp. 14426-14434. ISSN 0270-6474

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Abstract

It is well-established that active rehearsal increases the efficacy of memory consolidation. It is also known that complex events are interpreted with reference to prior knowledge. However, comparatively little attention has been given to the neural underpinnings of these effects. In healthy adult humans, we investigated the impact of effortful, active rehearsal on memory for events by showing people several short video clips and then asking them to recall these clips, either aloud (Experiment 1) or silently while in an MRI scanner (Experiment 2). In both experiments, actively rehearsed clips were remembered in far greater detail than unrehearsed clips when tested a week later. In Experiment 1, highly similar descriptions of events were produced across retrieval trials, suggesting a degree of semanticization of the memories had taken place. In Experiment 2, spatial patterns of BOLD signal in medial temporal and posterior midline regions were correlated when encoding and rehearsing the same video. Moreover, the strength of this correlation in the posterior cingulate predicted the amount of information subsequently recalled. This is likely to reflect a strengthening of the representation of the video's content. We argue that these representations combine both new episodic information and stored semantic knowledge (or "schemas"). We therefore suggest that posterior midline structures aid consolidation by reinstating and strengthening the associations between episodic details and more generic schematic information. This leads to the creation of coherent memory representations of lifelike, complex events that are resistant to forgetting, but somewhat inflexible and semantic-like in nature.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology > QP0351 Neurophysiology and neuropsychology
Q Science > QZ Psychology
Depositing User: Chris Bird
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2016 12:08
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2017 09:08
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/57862

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
TRANSMEM: Fast transformation between episodic and semantic memories: Interactions between the hippocampal formation and related regions and their breakdown in Alzheimer's diseaseG1268EUROPEAN UNIONERC-2013-STG 337822