Cortico-hippocampal network connections support the multidimensional quality of episodic memory.
ABSTRACT: 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:A network of brain regions have been linked with episodic memory retrieval, but limited progress has been made in identifying the contributions of distinct parts of the network. Here, we utilized continuous measures of retrieval to dissociate three components of episodic memory: retrieval success, precision, and vividness. In the fMRI scanner, participants encoded objects that varied continuously on three features: color, orientation, and location. Participants' memory was tested by having them recreate the appearance of the object features using a continuous dial, and continuous vividness judgments were recorded. Retrieval success, precision, and vividness were dissociable both behaviorally and neurally: successful versus unsuccessful retrieval was associated with hippocampal activity, retrieval precision scaled with activity in the angular gyrus, and vividness judgments tracked activity in the precuneus. The ability to dissociate these components of episodic memory reveals the benefit afforded by measuring memory on a continuous scale, allowing functional parcellation of the retrieval network.
Project description:The role of the hippocampus in declarative memory consolidation is a matter of intense debate. We investigated the neural substrates of memory retrieval for recent and remote information using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). 18 young, healthy participants learned a series of pictures. Then, during two fMRI recognition sessions, 3 days and 3 months later, they had to determine whether they recognized or not each picture using the "Remember/Know" procedure. Presentation of the same learned images at both delays allowed us to track the evolution of memories and distinguish consistently episodic memories from those that were initially episodic and then became familiar or semantic over time and were retrieved without any contextual detail. Hippocampal activation decreased over time for initially episodic, later semantic memories, but remained stable for consistently episodic ones, at least in its posterior part. For both types of memories, neocortical activations were observed at both delays, notably in the ventromedial prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. These activations may reflect a gradual reorganization of memory traces within neural networks. Our data indicate maintenance and strengthening of hippocampal and cortico-cortical connections in the consolidation and retrieval of episodic memories over time, in line with the Multiple Trace theory (Nadel and Moscovitch, 1997). At variance, memories becoming semantic over time consolidate through strengthening of cortico-cortical connections and progressive disengagement of the hippocampus.
Project description:It is widely believed that the hippocampus plays a temporary role in the retrieval of episodic and contextual memories. Initial research indicated that damage to this structure produced amnesia for newly acquired memories but did not affect those formed in the distant past. A number of recent studies, however, have found that the hippocampus is required for the retrieval of episodic and contextual memories regardless of their age. These findings are currently the subject of intense debate, and a satisfying resolution has yet to be identified.The current experiments address this issue by demonstrating that detailed memories require the hippocampus, whereas memories that lose precision become independent of this structure. First, we show that the dorsal hippocampus is preferentially activated by the retrieval of detailed contextual fear memories. We then establish that the hippocampus is necessary for the retrieval of detailed memories by using a context-generalization procedure. Mice that exhibit high levels of generalization to a novel environment show no memory loss when the hippocampus is subsequently inactivated. In contrast, mice that discriminate between contexts are significantly impaired by hippocampus inactivation.Our data suggest that detailed contextual memories require the hippocampus, whereas memories that lose precision can be retrieved without this structure. These findings can account for discrepancies in the literature-memories of our distant past can be either lost or retained after hippocampus damage depending on their quality-and provide a new framework for understanding memory consolidation.
Project description:Increasing recent research has sought to understand the recollection impairments experienced by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we tested whether these memory deficits reflect a reduction in the probability of retrieval success or in the precision of memory representations. We also used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the neural mechanisms underlying memory encoding and retrieval in ASD, focusing particularly on the functional connectivity of core episodic memory networks. Adults with ASD and typical control participants completed a memory task that involved studying visual displays and subsequently using a continuous dial to recreate their appearance. The ASD group exhibited reduced retrieval success, but there was no evidence of a difference in retrieval precision. fMRI data revealed similar patterns of brain activity and functional connectivity during memory encoding in the 2 groups, though encoding-related lateral frontal activity predicted subsequent retrieval success only in the control group. During memory retrieval, the ASD group exhibited attenuated lateral frontal activity and substantially reduced hippocampal connectivity, particularly between hippocampus and regions of the fronto-parietal control network. These findings demonstrate notable differences in brain function during episodic memory retrieval in ASD and highlight the importance of functional connectivity to understanding recollection-related retrieval deficits in this population.
Project description:While attention is critical for event memory, debate has arisen regarding the extent to which posterior parietal cortex (PPC) activation during episodic retrieval reflects engagement of PPC-mediated mechanisms of attention. Here, we directly examined the relationship between attention and memory, within and across subjects, using functional magnetic resonance imaging attention-mapping and episodic retrieval paradigms. During retrieval, 4 functionally dissociable PPC regions were identified. Specifically, 2 PPC regions positively tracked retrieval outcomes: lateral intraparietal sulcus (latIPS) indexed graded item memory strength, whereas angular gyrus (AnG) tracked recollection. By contrast, 2 other PPC regions demonstrated nonmonotonic relationships with retrieval: superior parietal lobule (SPL) tracked retrieval reaction time, consistent with a graded engagement of top-down attention, whereas temporoparietal junction displayed a complex pattern of below-baseline retrieval activity, perhaps reflecting disengagement of bottom-up attention. Analyses of retrieval effects in PPC topographic spatial attention maps (IPS0-IPS5; SPL1) revealed that IPS5 and SPL1 exhibited a nonmonotonic relationship with retrieval outcomes resembling that in the SPL region, further suggesting that SPL activation during retrieval reflects top-down attention. While demands on PPC attention mechanisms vary during retrieval attempts, the present functional parcellation of PPC indicates that 2 additional mechanisms (mediated by latIPS and AnG) positively track retrieval outcomes.
Project description:The hippocampus has been consistently associated with episodic simulation (i.e., the mental construction of a possible future episode). In a recent study, we identified an anterior-posterior temporal dissociation within the hippocampus during simulation. Specifically, transient simulation-related activity occurred in relatively posterior portions of the hippocampus and sustained activity occurred in anterior portions. In line with previous theoretical proposals of hippocampal function during simulation, the posterior hippocampal activity was interpreted as reflecting a transient retrieval process for the episodic details necessary to construct an episode. In contrast, the sustained anterior hippocampal activity was interpreted as reflecting the continual recruitment of encoding and/or relational processing associated with a simulation. In the present study, we provide a direct test of these interpretations by conducting a subsequent memory analysis of our previously published data to assess whether successful encoding during episodic simulation is associated with the anterior hippocampus. Analyses revealed a subsequent memory effect (i.e., later remembered > later forgotten simulations) in the anterior hippocampus. The subsequent memory effect was transient and not sustained. Taken together, the current findings provide further support for a component process model of hippocampal function during simulation. That is, unique regions of the hippocampus support dissociable processes during simulation, which include the transient retrieval of episodic information, the sustained binding of such information into a coherent episode, and the transient encoding of that episode for later retrieval.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Neuroimaging studies show the hippocampus is a crucial node in the neural network supporting episodic autobiographical memory retrieval. Stress-related psychiatric disorders, namely Major Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), are related to reduced hippocampus volume. However, this is not the case for remitted breast cancer patients with co-morbid stress-related psychiatric disorders. This exception may be due to the fact that, consequently to the cancer experience as such, this population might already be characterized by a reduced hippocampus with an episodic autobiographical memory deficit. METHODOLOGY: We scanned, with a 3T Siemens TRIO, 16 patients who had lived through a "standard experience of breast cancer" (breast cancer and a standard treatment in remission since 18 month) in the absence of any associated stress-related psychiatric or neurological disorder and 21 matched controls. We then assessed their episodic autobiographical memory retrieval ability. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Remitted breast cancer patients had both a significantly smaller hippocampus and a significant deficit in episodic autobiographical memory retrieval. The hippocampus atrophy was characterized by a smaller posterior hippocampus. The posterior hippocampus volume was intimately related to the ability to retrieve negative memories and to the past experience of breast cancer or not. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results provide two main findings: (1) we identify a new population with a specific reduction in posterior hippocampus volume that is independent of any psychiatric or neurological pathology; (2) we show the intimate relation of the posterior hippocampus to the ability to retrieve episodic autobiographical memories. These are significant findings as it is the first demonstration that indicates considerable long-term effects of living through the experience of breast cancer and shows very specific hippocampal atrophy with a functional deficit without any presence of psychiatric pathology.
Project description:The hippocampus is critical for the acquisition and retrieval of episodic and contextual memories. Lesions of the dentate gyrus, a principal input of the hippocampus, block memory acquisition, but it remains unclear whether this region also plays a role in memory retrieval. Here we combine cell-type specific neural inhibition with electrophysiological measurements of learning-associated plasticity in behaving mice to demonstrate that dentate gyrus granule cells are not required for memory retrieval, but instead have an unexpected role in memory maintenance. Furthermore, we demonstrate the translational potential of our findings by showing that pharmacological activation of an endogenous inhibitory receptor expressed selectively in dentate gyrus granule cells can induce a rapid loss of hippocampal memory. These findings open a new avenue for the targeted erasure of episodic and contextual memories.
Project description:Retrieval practice, such as filling in blanks or taking quizzes, is firmly established as an effective study strategy. However, the underlying mechanism of how retrieval practice benefits memory is still unclear. One current theory, the episodic context account, proposes that retrieval enhances memory by reinstating a prior learning context. This retrieved context is then strengthened and updated to include context at the time of recall, which later serves as an effective retrieval cue. However, few studies have directly tested this hypothesis. We did so by examining participants' memory for the initial study context. Across three experiments, participants encoded cue-target pairs presented in different colors and either restudied or practiced retrieving the targets. If retrieval practice benefits memory by reinstating the prior episodic context, participants who successfully retrieved the items during practice should have enhanced memory for context details (i.e. font color) compared to participants who restudied the pairs. Contrary to this prediction, memory for font colors did not differ between the restudy condition and the retrieval practice condition. Even when font color was actively attended to and integrated with the to-be-remembered items, retrieval practice did not increase memory for this aspect of context. Our results suggest that the context reinstated during retrieval practice is limited in nature. Aspects of the context that are not essential to retrieval of the item are not strengthened by retrieval practice.
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.