Apr 22, 2016

The hippocampus generalizes across memories that share item and context information

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Laura A LibbyCharan Ranganath

Abstract

Episodic memory is known to rely on the hippocampus, but how the hippocampus organizes different episodes to permit their subsequent retrieval remains controversial. According to one view, hippocampal coding differentiates between similar events to reduce interference, whereas an alternative view is that the hippocampus assigns similar representations to events that share item and context information. Here, we used multivariate analyses of activity patterns measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to characterize how the hippocampus distinguishes between memories based on similarity of their item and/or context information. Hippocampal activity patterns discriminated between events that shared either item or context information, but generalized across events that shared similar item-context associations. The current findings provide novel evidence that, whereas the hippocampus can resist mnemonic interference by separating events that generalize along a single attribute dimension, overlapping hippocampal codes may support memory for events with overlapping item-context relations.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Memory, Episodic
Genus Hippocampus
Structure of Hippocampal Formation
Entire Hippocampus
FMRI
Mnemonics
Memory
Structure of Archicortex
Hippocampus (Brain)

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