Activation of person knowledge in medial prefrontal cortex during the encoding of new lifelike events

Raykov, Petar P, Keidel, James L, Oakhill, Jane and Bird, Chris M (2021) Activation of person knowledge in medial prefrontal cortex during the encoding of new lifelike events. Cerebral Cortex, 31 (7). pp. 3494-3505. ISSN 1047-3211

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Our knowledge about people can help us predict how they will behave in particular situations and interpret their actions. In this study, we investigated the cognitive and neural effects of person knowledge on the encoding and retrieval of novel life-like events. Healthy human participants learnt about two characters over a week by watching 6 episodes of one of two situation comedies, which were both centered on a young couple. In the scanner, they watched and then silently recalled 20 new scenes from both shows that were all set in unfamiliar locations: 10 from their trained show and 10 from the untrained show. After scanning, participants’ recognition memory was better for scenes from the trained show. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) patterns of brain activity when watching the videos were reinstated during recall, but this effect was not modulated by training. However, person knowledge boosted the similarity in fMRI patterns of activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) when watching the new events involving familiar characters. Our findings identify a role for the MPFC in the representation of schematic person knowledge during the encoding of novel, lifelike events.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: fMRI, medial prefrontal cortex, memory, prior knowledge, schema
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 13 May 2021 09:09
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 15:45

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
EVENTS - Making Sense of the World – Cognitive and Neural Processes Underpinning how we Perceive, Comprehend and Remember EventsG2672EUROPEAN UNION819526