Angular Gyrus Involvement at Encoding and Retrieval Is Associated with Durable But Less Specific Memories
Number of pages
SourceJournal of the Neurological Sciences, 37, 39, (2017), pp. 9474-9485
Article / Letter to editor
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PI Group Memory and Emotion
Journal of the Neurological Sciences
Subject130 000 Cognitive Neurology & Memory; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
After consolidation, information belonging to a mental schema is better remembered, but such memory can be less specific when it comes to details. A neuronal mechanism consistent with this behavioral pattern could result from a dynamic interaction that entails mediation by a specific cortical network with associated hippocampal disengagement. We now report that, in male and female adult human subjects, encoding and later consolidation of a series of objects embedded in a semantic schema was associated with a buildup of activity in the angular gyrus (AG) that predicted memory 24 h later. In parallel, the posterior hippocampus became less involved as schema objects were encoded successively. Hippocampal disengagement was related to an increase in falsely remembering objects that were not presented at encoding. During both encoding and retrieval, the AG and lateral occipital complex (LOC) became functionally connected and this interaction was beneficial for successful retrieval. Therefore, a network including the AG and LOC enhances the overnight retention of schema-related memories and their simultaneous detachment from the hippocampus reduces the specificity of the memory.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This study provides the first empirical evidence on how the hippocampus and the neocortex interact dynamically when acquiring and then effectively retaining durable knowledge that is associated to preexisting knowledge, but they do so at the cost of memory specificity. This interaction is a fundamental mnemonic operation that has thus far been largely overlooked in memory research.
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