Neocortical connectivity during episodic memory formation

Citation: Summerfield, C., Greene, M., Wager, T. D., Egner, T., Hirsch, J., Mangels, J. (2006). Neocortical connectivity during episodic memory formation. Public Library of Science, 4(5):c128

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Abstract:

During the formation of new episodic memories, a rich array of perceptual information is bound together for long-term storage. However, the brain mechanisms by which sensory representations (such as colors, objects, or individuals) are selected for episodic encoding are currently unknown. We describe a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment in which participants encoded the association between two classes of visual stimuli that elicit selective responses in the extrastriate visual cortex (faces and houses). Using connectivity analyses, we show that correlation in the hemodynamic signal between face- and place-sensitive voxels and the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is a reliable predictor of successful face-house binding. These data support the view that during episodic encoding, 'top-down' control signals originating in the prefrontal cortex help determine which perceptual information is fated to be bound into the new episodic memory trace.