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Nonmonotonic recruitment of ventromedial prefrontal cortex during remote memory recall

Barry, DN; Chadwick, MJ; Maguire, EA; (2018) Nonmonotonic recruitment of ventromedial prefrontal cortex during remote memory recall. PLoS Biology , 16 (7) , Article e2005479. 10.1371/journal.pbio.2005479. Green open access

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Abstract

Systems-level consolidation refers to the time-dependent reorganisation of memory traces in the neocortex, a process in which the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has been implicated. Capturing the precise temporal evolution of this crucial process in humans has long proved elusive. Here, we used multivariate methods and a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) design to detect, with high granularity, the extent to which autobiographical memories of different ages were represented in vmPFC and how this changed over time. We observed an unexpected time course of vmPFC recruitment during retrieval, rising and falling around an initial peak of 8-12 months, before reengaging for older 2- and 5-year-old memories. This pattern was replicated in 2 independent sets of memories. Moreover, it was further replicated in a follow-up study 8 months later with the same participants and memories, for which the individual memory representations had undergone their hypothesised strengthening or weakening over time. We conclude that the temporal engagement of vmPFC in memory retrieval seems to be nonmonotonic, revealing a complex relationship between systems-level consolidation and prefrontal cortex recruitment that is unaccounted for by current theories.

Type: Article
Title: Nonmonotonic recruitment of ventromedial prefrontal cortex during remote memory recall
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2005479
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2005479
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10052800
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