Category-specific cortical activity precedes retrieval during memory search.

Polyn SM, Natu VS, Cohen JD, Norman KA
Science. 2005 310 (5756): 1963-6

PMID: 16373577 · DOI:10.1126/science.1117645

Here we describe a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of humans engaged in memory search during a free recall task. Patterns of cortical activity associated with the study of three categories of pictures (faces, locations, and objects) were identified by a pattern-classification algorithm. The algorithm was used to track the reappearance of these activity patterns during the recall period. The reappearance of a given category's activity pattern correlates with verbal recalls made from that category and precedes the recall event by several seconds. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that category-specific activity is cueing the memory system to retrieve studied items.

MeSH Terms (12)

Adult Algorithms Brain Brain Mapping Female Form Perception Humans Magnetic Resonance Imaging Male Memory Mental Recall Space Perception

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