Fast track to the neocortex: A memory engram in the posterior parietal cortex

Models of systems memory consolidation postulate a fast-learning hippocampal store and a slowly developing, stable neocortical store. Accordingly, early neocortical contributions to memory are deemed to reflect a hippocampus-driven online reinstatement of encoding activity. In contrast, we found that learning rapidly engenders an enduring memory engram in the human posterior parietal cortex. We assessed microstructural plasticity via diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging as well as functional brain activity in an object–location learning task. We detected neocortical plasticity as early as 1 hour after learning and found that it was learning specific, enabled correct recall, and overlapped with memory-related functional activity. These microstructural changes persisted over 12 hours. Our results suggest that new traces can be rapidly encoded into the parietal cortex, challenging views of a slow-learning neocortex.
Source: ScienceNOW - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Neuroscience, Psychology reports Source Type: news

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Source: NeuroImage - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research
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Source: NeuroImage - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research
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