ABSTRACT: How do separate neural networks interact to support complex cognitive processes such as remembrance of the personal past? Autobiographical memory (AM) retrieval recruits a consistent pattern of activation that potentially comprises multiple neural networks. However, it is unclear how such large-scale neural networks interact and are modulated by properties of the memory retrieval process. In the present functional MRI (fMRI) study, we combined independent component analysis (ICA) and dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to understand the neural networks supporting AM retrieval. ICA revealed four task-related components consistent with the previous literature: 1) medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) network, associated with self-referential processes, 2) medial temporal lobe (MTL) network, associated with memory, 3) frontoparietal network, associated with strategic search, and 4) cingulooperculum network, associated with goal maintenance. DCM analysis revealed that the medial PFC network drove activation within the system, consistent with the importance of this network to AM retrieval. Additionally, memory accessibility and recollection uniquely altered connectivity between these neural networks. Recollection modulated the influence of the medial PFC on the MTL network during elaboration, suggesting that greater connectivity among subsystems of the default network supports greater re-experience. In contrast, memory accessibility modulated the influence of frontoparietal and MTL networks on the medial PFC network, suggesting that ease of retrieval involves greater fluency among the multiple networks contributing to AM. These results show the integration between neural networks supporting AM retrieval and the modulation of network connectivity by behavior.
Project description:Episodic memory is thought to critically depend on interaction of the hippocampus with distributed brain regions [1-3]. Specific contributions of distinct networks have been hypothesized, with the hippocampal posterior-medial (HPM) network implicated in the recollection of highly precise contextual and spatial information [3-6]. Current evidence for HPM specialization is mostly indirect, derived from correlative measures such as neural activity recordings. Here we tested the causal role of the HPM network in recollection using network-targeted noninvasive brain stimulation in humans, which has previously been shown to increase functional connectivity within the HPM network . Effects of multiple-day electromagnetic stimulation were assessed using an object-location memory task that segregated recollection precision from general recollection success. HPM network-targeted stimulation produced lasting (?24 hr) enhancement of recollection precision, without effects on general success. Canonical neural correlates of recollection [8-10] were also modulated by stimulation. Late-positive evoked potential amplitude and theta-alpha oscillatory power were reduced, suggesting that stimulation can improve memory through enhanced reactivation of detailed visuospatial information at retrieval. The HPM network was thus specifically implicated in the processing of fine-grained memory detail, supporting functional specialization of hippocampal-cortical networks. These findings demonstrate that brain networks can be causally linked to distinct and specific neurocognitive functions and suggest mechanisms for long-lasting changes in memory due to network-targeted stimulation.
Project description:Autobiographical remembering can depend on two forms of memory: episodic (event) memory and autobiographical semantic memory (remembering personally relevant semantic knowledge, independent of recalling a specific experience). There is debate about the degree to which the neural signals that support episodic recollection relate to or build upon autobiographical semantic remembering. Pooling data from two fMRI studies of memory for real-world personal events, we investigated whether medial temporal lobe (MTL) and parietal subregions contribute to autobiographical episodic and semantic remembering. During scanning, participants made memory judgments about photograph sequences depicting past events from their life or from others' lives, and indicated whether memory was based on episodic or semantic knowledge. Results revealed several distinct functional patterns: activity in most MTL subregions was selectively associated with autobiographical episodic memory; the hippocampal tail, superior parietal lobule, and intraparietal sulcus were similarly engaged when memory was based on retrieval of an autobiographical episode or autobiographical semantic knowledge; and angular gyrus demonstrated a graded pattern, with activity declining from autobiographical recollection to autobiographical semantic remembering to correct rejections of novel events. Collectively, our data offer insights into MTL and parietal cortex functional organization, and elucidate circuitry that supports different forms of real-world autobiographical memory.
Project description:Individuals with schizophrenia can encode item-specific information to support familiarity-based recognition but are disproportionately impaired encoding interitem relationships (relational encoding) and recollecting information. The Relational and Item-Specific Encoding (RiSE) paradigm has been used to disentangle these encoding and retrieval processes, which may depend on specific medial temporal lobe (MTL) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) subregions. Functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) imaging during RiSE task performance could help to specify dysfunctional neural circuits in schizophrenia that can be targeted for interventions to improve memory and functioning in the illness.To use fMRI to test the hypothesis that schizophrenia disproportionately affects MTL and PFC subregions during relational encoding and retrieval relative to item-specific memory processes, and to use fMRI results from healthy individuals serving as controls to establish neural construct validity for RiSE.This multisite, case-control, cross-sectional fMRI study was conducted between November 1, 2010, and May 30, 2012, at 5 Cognitive Neuroscience Test Reliability and Clinical Applications for Schizophrenia sites. The final sample included 52 outpatients with clinically stable schizophrenia and 57 demographically matched healthy control participants. Data analysis was performed between February 1, 2013, and May 30, 2014.Behavioral performance speed and accuracy (d') on item recognition and associative recognition tasks. Voxelwise statistical parametric maps for a priori MTL and PFC regions of interest to test activation differences between relational and item-specific memory during encoding and retrieval.Item recognition was disproportionately impaired in patients with schizophrenia relative to healthy control participants following relational encoding (F1,107 = 4.7; P =?.03). The differential deficit was accompanied by reduced dorsolateral PFC activation during relational encoding in patients with schizophrenia compared with healthy control participants (z > 2.3; P <?.05 corrected). Retrieval success (hits > misses) was associated with hippocampal activation in healthy control participants during relational item recognition and associative recognition conditions, and hippocampal activation was specifically reduced in schizophrenia for recognition of relational but not item-specific information (z > 2.3; P <?.05 corrected).In this unique, multisite fMRI study, results in the healthy control group supported RiSE construct validity by revealing expected memory effects in PFC and MTL subregions during encoding and retrieval. Comparison of schizophrenic and healthy control participants revealed disproportionate memory deficits in schizophrenia for relational vs item-specific information, accompanied by regionally and functionally specific deficits in dorsolateral PFC and hippocampal activation.
Project description:Episodic memory retrieval relies on the recovery of neural representations of waking experience. This process is thought to involve a communication dynamic between the medial temporal lobe memory system and the neocortex. How this occurs is largely unknown, however, especially as it pertains to awake human memory retrieval. Using intracranial electroencephalographic recordings, we found that ripple oscillations were dynamically coupled between the human medial temporal lobe (MTL) and temporal association cortex. Coupled ripples were more pronounced during successful verbal memory retrieval and recover the cortical neural representations of remembered items. Together, these data provide direct evidence that coupled ripples between the MTL and association cortex may underlie successful memory retrieval in the human brain.
Project description:It has been suggested that several regions of the brain, including subregions of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and the posterior parietal cortex, contribute to source memory success in a material-general manner, with most models highlighting the importance of memory process rather than material type. For the MTL in particular, however, increasing evidence suggests that MTL subregions may be specialized for processing different materials, raising the possibility that source memory-related activity may be material-sensitive. Previous fMRI studies have not directly compared source memory activity for different categories of stimuli, and it remains unclear whether source memory effects, in the MTL or elsewhere, are influenced by material. To investigate this issue, young participants were scanned during study while they made semantic judgments about words, pictures of objects and scenes, and during test when they retrieved the context (source) in which these items were studied. Several regions, including the hippocampi, medial and lateral parietal cortex, exhibited source memory effects common to words, objects and scenes, at both study and test. Material-dependent source memory effects were also identified in the left posterior inferior frontal and left perirhinal cortex for words and objects, respectively, at study but not test. These results offer direct support for the hypothesis that the MTL and posterior parietal cortex make material-general contributions to recollection. These results also point to a dissociation between encoding and retrieval with regard to the influence of material on the neural correlates of source memory accuracy, supporting the idea that a relatively small proportion of the activity elicited by a stimulus during encoding is incorporated into an episodic memory representation of the stimulus.
Project description:The medial temporal lobe (MTL) is a locus of episodic memory in the human brain. It is comprised of cytologically distinct subregions that, in concert, give rise to successful encoding and retrieval of context-dependent memories. However, the functional connections between these subregions are poorly understood. To determine functional connectivity among MTL subregions, we had 131 subjects fitted with indwelling electrodes perform a verbal memory task and asked how encoding or retrieval correlated with inter-regional synchronization. Using phase-based measures of connectivity, we found that synchronous theta (4-8 Hz) activity underlies successful episodic memory. During encoding, we observed a dynamic pattern of connections converging on the left entorhinal cortex, beginning with the perirhinal cortex and shifting through hippocampal subfields. Retrieval-associated networks demonstrated enhanced involvement of the subiculum and CA1, reflecting a substantial reorganization of the encoding network. We posit that coherent theta activity within the MTL marks periods of successful memory, but distinct patterns of connectivity dissociate key stages of memory processing.
Project description:The aim of this study was to determine the neural correlates of different stages of episodic memory function and their modulation by Alzheimer's disease (AD). Several decades of work has supported the role of the medial temporal lobes (MTL) in episodic memory function. However, a more recent work, derived in part from functional neuroimaging studies, has suggested that other brain structures make up a large-scale network that appears to support successful encoding and retrieval of episodic memories. Furthermore, controversy exists as to whether dissociable MTL regions support qualitatively different aspects of memory (hippocampus: contextual memory or 'recollection'; perirhinal/lateral entorhinal cortex: item memory or 'familiarity'). There is limited neuropsychological support for these models and most work in AD only has examined free recall memory measures. We studied the relationship between performance on different stages of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT), a 15-item word list learning task, and structural MRI measures in mild AD patients. Structural measures included hippocampal volume and cortical thickness of several ROIs known to undergo atrophy in AD. Correlation and multiple regression analyses, controlling for age, education, and gender, were performed in 146 mild AD patients (MMSE 23.3±2.0). To evaluate the robustness of these relationships, similar analyses were performed with additional standardized verbal memory measures. Early immediate recall trials (e.g. Trial 1 of the AVLT) were not associated with the size of MTL regions, but correlated most strongly with inferior parietal, middle frontal gyrus, and temporal pole ROIs. After repeated exposure (e.g. Trial 5 of the AVLT), immediate recall was correlated with both MTL and a similar distribution of isocortical structures, but most strongly the temporal pole. For delayed recall, only the hippocampus correlated with performance. In contrast, for delayed recognition discrimination, the perirhinal/entorhinal cortex correlated more strongly than the hippocampus; no other isocortical regions were strongly associated with performance. Convergent results were found for immediate and delayed trials of other memory tests. The current results suggest that a richer understanding of the memory deficits in AD can be gained by examining multiple measures, which tap different aspects of memory function. Furthermore, the present findings are consistent with models hypothesizing different stages of verbal list learning map onto dissociable brain regions. These data have implications for understanding the anatomic basis of processes underlying episodic memory, particularly related to a division of labor within the medial temporal lobes and within the large-scale MTL-cortical memory network.
Project description:A major controversy in the study of memory concerns whether there are distinct medial temporal lobe (MTL) substrates of recollection and familiarity. Studies using receiver operating characteristics analyses of recognition memory indicate that the hippocampus is essential for recollection, but not for familiarity. We found the converse pattern in the amygdala, wherein damage impaired familiarity while sparing recollection. Combined with previous findings, these results dissociate recollection and familiarity by selective MTL damage.
Project description:Achieving our goals often requires guiding access to relevant information from memory. Such goal-directed retrieval requires interactions between systems supporting cognitive control, including ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), and those supporting declarative memory, such as the medial temporal lobes (MTL). However, the pathways by which VLPFC interacts with MTL during retrieval are underspecified. Prior neuroanatomical evidence suggests that a polysynaptic ventral fronto-temporal pathway may support VLPFC-MTL interactions. To test this hypothesis, human participants were scanned using fMRI during performance of a source-monitoring task. The strength of source information was varied via repetition during encoding. Single encoding events should produce a weaker memory trace, thus recovering source information about these items should demand greater cognitive control. Results demonstrated that cortical targets along the ventral path--anterior VLPFC, temporal pole, anterior parahippocampus, and hippocampus--exhibited increases in univariate BOLD response correlated with increases in controlled retrieval demand, independent of factors related to response selection. Further, a functional connectivity analysis indicated that these regions functionally couple and are distinguishable from a dorsal pathway related to response selection demands. These data support a ventral retrieval pathway linking PFC and MTL.
Project description:Although the medial temporal lobes (MTLs) are critical for both item memory (IM) and source memory (SM), the lateral prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex play a greater role during SM than IM. It is unclear, however, how these differences translate into shared and distinct IM versus SM network components and how these network components vary with age. Within a sample of younger adults (YAs; n = 15, Mage = 19.5 years) and older adults (OAs; n = 40, Mage = 68.6 years), we investigated the functional networks underlying IM and SM. Before functional MRI scanning, participants encoded nouns while making either pleasantness or size judgments. During functional MRI scanning, participants completed IM and SM retrieval tasks. We found that MTL nodes were similarly interconnected among each other during both IM and SM (shared network components) but maintained more intermodule connections during SM (distinct network components). Also, during SM, OAs (compared to YAs) had MTL nodes with more widespread connections. These findings provide a novel viewpoint on neural mechanism differences underlying IM versus SM in YAs and OAs.