Frequency-specific network connectivity increases underlie accurate spatiotemporal memory retrieval.
ABSTRACT: The medial temporal lobes, prefrontal cortex and parts of parietal cortex form the neural underpinnings of episodic memory, which includes remembering both where and when an event occurred. However, the manner in which these three regions interact during retrieval of spatial and temporal context remains untested. We employed simultaneous electrocorticographical recordings across multilobular regions in patients undergoing seizure monitoring while they retrieved spatial and temporal context associated with an episode, and we used phase synchronization as a measure of network connectivity. Successful memory retrieval was characterized by greater global connectivity compared with incorrect retrieval, with the medial temporal lobe acting as a hub for these interactions. Spatial versus temporal context retrieval resulted in prominent differences in both the spectral and temporal patterns of network interactions. These results emphasize dynamic network interactions as being central to episodic memory retrieval, providing insight into how multiple contexts underlying a single event can be recreated in the same network.
Project description:Successful episodic memory involves dynamic increases in activity across distributed hippocampal networks, including the posterior-medial (PMN) and the anterior-temporal (ATN) networks. We tested whether this up-regulation of functional connectivity during memory processing can be enhanced within hippocampal networks by noninvasive stimulation, and whether such task-dependent connectivity enhancement predicts memory improvement. Participants received stimulation targeting the PMN or an out-of-network control location. We compared the effects of stimulation on fMRI connectivity during an autobiographical retrieval task versus during rest within the PMN and the ATN. PMN-targeted stimulation significantly increased connectivity during autobiographical retrieval versus rest within the PMN. This effect was not observed in the ATN, or in either network following control stimulation. Task-dependent increases in connectivity within the medial temporal lobe predicted improved performance of a separate episodic memory test. It is therefore possible to enhance the task-dependent regulation of hippocampal network connectivity that supports memory processing using noninvasive stimulation.
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:Episodic memories reflect a bound representation of multimodal features that can be reinstated with varying precision. Yet little is known about how brain networks involved in memory, including the hippocampus and posterior-medial (PM) and anterior-temporal (AT) systems, interact to support the quality and content of recollection. Participants learned color, spatial, and emotion associations of objects, later reconstructing the visual features using a continuous color spectrum and 360-degree panorama scenes. Behaviorally, dependencies in memory were observed for the gist but not precision of event associations. Supporting this integration, hippocampus, AT, and PM regions showed increased connectivity and reduced modularity during retrieval compared to encoding. These inter-network connections tracked a multidimensional, objective measure of memory quality. Moreover, distinct patterns of connectivity tracked item color and spatial memory precision. These findings demonstrate how hippocampal-cortical connections reconfigure during episodic retrieval, and how such dynamic interactions might flexibly support the multidimensional quality of remembered events.
Project description:Resting-state fMRI studies demonstrated temporally synchronous fluctuations in brain activity among ensembles of brain regions, suggesting the existence of intrinsic functional networks. A spatial match between some of the resting-state networks and regional brain activation during cognitive tasks has been noted, suggesting that resting-state networks support particular cognitive abilities. However, the spatial match and predictive value of any resting-state network and regional brain activation during episodic memory is only poorly understood. In order to address this research gap, we obtained fMRI acquired both during rest and a face-name association task in 38 healthy elderly subjects. In separate independent component analyses, networks of correlated brain activity during rest or the episodic memory task were identified. For the independent components identified for task-based fMRI, the design matrix of successful encoding or retrieval trials was regressed against the time course of each of the component to identify significantly activated networks. Spatial regression was used to assess the match of resting-state networks against those related to successful memory encoding or retrieval. We found that resting-state networks covering the medial temporal, middle temporal, and frontal areas showed increased activity during successful encoding. Resting-state networks located within posterior brain regions showed increased activity during successful recognition. However, the level of resting-state network connectivity was not predictive of the task-related activity in these networks. These results suggest that a circumscribed number of functional networks detectable during rest become engaged during successful episodic memory. However, higher intrinsic connectivity at rest may not translate into higher network expression during episodic memory.
Project description:In many species, spatial navigation is supported by a network of place cells that exhibit increased firing whenever an animal is in a certain region of an environment. Does this neural representation of location form part of the spatiotemporal context into which episodic memories are encoded? We recorded medial temporal lobe neuronal activity as epilepsy patients performed a hybrid spatial and episodic memory task. We identified place-responsive cells active during virtual navigation and then asked whether the same cells activated during the subsequent recall of navigation-related memories without actual navigation. Place-responsive cell activity was reinstated during episodic memory retrieval. Neuronal firing during the retrieval of each memory was similar to the activity that represented the locations in the environment where the memory was initially encoded.
Project description:Emerging evidence suggests that our memories for recent events depend on a dynamic interplay between multiple cortical brain regions, although previous research has also emphasized a primary role for the hippocampus in episodic memory. One challenge in determining the relative importance of interactions between multiple brain regions versus a specific brain region is a lack of analytic approaches to address this issue. Participants underwent neuroimaging while retrieving the spatial and temporal details of a recently experienced virtual reality environment; we then employed graph theory to analyze functional connectivity patterns across multiple lobes. Dense, large-scale increases in connectivity during successful memory retrieval typified network topology, with individual participant performance correlating positively with overall network density. Within this dense network, the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, precuneus, and visual cortex served as "hubs" of high connectivity. Spatial and temporal retrieval were characterized by distinct but overlapping "subnetworks" with higher connectivity within posterior and anterior brain areas, respectively. Together, these findings provide new insight into the neural basis of episodic memory, suggesting that the interactions of multiple hubs characterize successful memory retrieval. Furthermore, distinct subnetworks represent components of spatial versus temporal retrieval, with the hippocampus acting as a hub integrating information between these two subnetworks.
Project description:Converging evidence suggests a critical role for the parietal cortices in episodic memory retrieval. Here, we examined episodic memory performance in Corticobasal Syndrome (CBS), a rare neurodegenerative disorder presenting with early parietal atrophy in the context of variable medial temporal lobe damage. Forty-four CBS patients were contrasted with 29 typical Alzheimer's disease (AD), 29 healthy Controls, and 20 progressive supranuclear palsy patients presenting with brainstem atrophy as a disease control group. Participants completed standardized assessments of verbal episodic memory (learning, delayed recall, and recognition), and underwent structural and diffusion-weighted MRI. Selective delayed recall deficits were evident in the CBS group relative to Controls, at an intermediate level to the stark amnesia displayed by AD, and Control-level performance noted in progressive supranuclear palsy. Considerable variability within the CBS group on delayed recall performance led to the identification of memory-spared (N = 19) and memory-impaired (N = 25) subgroups. Whereas CBS-Spared showed no significant memory deficits, the CBS-Impaired subgroup were indistinguishable from typical AD across all episodic memory measures. Whole-brain voxel-based morphometry analyses implicated fronto-parietal and medial temporal regions in delayed recall performance in both the CBS-Impaired and AD groups. Furthermore, diffusion tensor imaging analyses revealed correlations between delayed recall performance and altered structural connectivity between fronto-parietal and frontotemporal regions in the CBS-Impaired group. Our findings underscore the importance of a distributed brain network including frontal, medial temporal, and parietal brain regions in supporting the capacity for successful episodic memory retrieval.
Project description:Deficits in amnesic patients suggest that spatial cognition and episodic memory are intimately related. Among the different types of spatial processing, the allocentric, relying on the hippocampal formation, and the egocentric-updated, relying on parieto-temporal connections have both been considered to functionally underlie episodic memory encoding and retrieval. We explore the cerebral correlates underlying the episodic retrieval of words previously learnt outside the magnet while performing different spatial processes, allocentric and egocentric-updated. Subsequently and during fMRI, participants performed an episodic word recognition task. Data processing revealed that the correct recognition of words learnt in egocentric-updated condition enhanced activity of the medial and lateral parietal, as well as temporal cortices. No additional regions were activated in the present study by retrieving words learnt in allocentric condition. This study sheds new light on the functional links between episodic memory and spatial processing: The temporo-parietal network is confirmed to be crucial in episodic memory in healthy participants and could be linked to the egocentric-updated process.
Project description:During demanding cognitive tasks, older adults (OAs) frequently show greater prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity than younger adults (YAs). This age-related increase in PFC activity is often associated with enhanced cognitive performance, suggesting functional compensation. However, the brain is a complex network of interconnected regions, and it is unclear how network connectivity of PFC regions differs for OAs versus YAs. To investigate this, we examined the age-related difference on the functional brain networks mediating episodic memory retrieval. YAs and OAs participants encoded and recalled visual scenes, and age-related differences in network topology during memory retrieval were investigated as a function of memory performance. We measured both changes in functional integration and reconfiguration in connectivity patterns. The study yielded three main findings. First, PFC regions were more functionally integrated with the rest of the brain network in OAs. Critically, this age-related increase in PFC integration was associated with better retrieval performance. Second, PFC regions showed stronger performance-related reconfiguration of connectivity patterns in OAs. Finally, the PFC reconfiguration increases in OAs tracked reconfiguration reductions in the medial temporal lobe (MTL)-a core episodic memory region, suggesting that PFC connectivity in OAs may be compensating for MTL deficits.
Project description:Higher cognitive functioning is supported by adaptive reconfiguration of large-scale functional brain networks. Cognitive control (CC), which plays a vital role in flexibly guiding cognition and behavior in accordance with our goals, supports a range of executive functions via distributed brain networks. These networks process information dynamically and can be represented as functional connectivity changes between network elements. Using graph theory, we explored context-dependent network reorganization in 56 healthy adults performing fMRI tasks from two cognitive domains that varied in CC and episodic-memory demands. We examined whole-brain modular structure during the DPX task, which engages proactive CC in the frontal-parietal cognitive-control network (FPN), and the RiSE task, which manipulates CC demands at encoding and retrieval during episodic-memory processing, and engages FPN, the medial-temporal lobe and other memory-related networks in a context dependent manner. Analyses revealed different levels of network integration and segregation. Modularity analyses revealed greater brain-wide integration across tasks in high CC conditions compared to low CC conditions. Greater network reorganization occurred in the RiSE memory task, which is thought to require coordination across multiple brain networks, than in the DPX cognitive-control task. Finally, FPN, ventral attention, and visual systems showed within network connectivity effects of cognitive control; however, these cognitive systems displayed varying levels of network reorganization. These findings provide insight into how brain networks reorganize to support differing task contexts, suggesting that the FPN flexibly segregates during focused proactive control and integrates to support control in other domains such as episodic memory.