Memory trace stabilization leads to large-scale changes in the retrieval network: a functional MRI study on associative memory.
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SourceLearning & Memory, 14, 7, (2007), pp. 472-9
Article / Letter to editor
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Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
PI Group Neuronal Oscillations
F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
Learning & Memory
Subject110 000 Neurocognition of Language; 130 000 Cognitive Neurology & Memory; 130 020 Brain Imaging Genomics; 160 000 Neuronal Oscillations; 160 003 Integrated investigation in memory consilidation; 220 000 Perception and Attention; DCN 2: Functional Neurogenomics; DCN 3: Neuroinformatics; UMCN 3.2: Cognitive neurosciences
Spaced learning with time to consolidate leads to more stabile memory traces. However, little is known about the neural correlates of trace stabilization, especially in humans. The present fMRI study contrasted retrieval activity of two well-learned sets of face-location associations, one learned in a massed style and tested on the day of learning (i.e., labile condition) and another learned in a spaced scheme over the course of one week (i.e., stabilized condition). Both sets of associations were retrieved equally well, but the retrieval of stabilized association was faster and accompanied by large-scale changes in the network supporting retrieval. Cued recall of stabilized as compared with labile associations was accompanied by increased activity in the precuneus, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the bilateral temporal pole, and left temporo-parietal junction. Conversely, memory representational areas such as the fusiform gyrus for faces and the posterior parietal cortex for locations did not change their activity with stabilization. The changes in activation in the precuneus, which also showed increased connectivity with the fusiform area, are likely to be related to the spatial nature of our task. The activation increase in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, on the other hand, might reflect a general function in stabilized memory retrieval. This area might succeed the hippocampus in linking distributed neocortical representations.
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